Bruce Catton

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In the wake of the violence in the 1960s, the urban riots and assassinations, and the American tragedy unfolding in Vietnam as well as back home, perhaps Catton recalled with ambivalence some of his writings about the passionately optimistic centennial era. After so often leaving his readers choked up with mystic emotion about “the fallen” yet little wiser about the war’s meaning and consequences, perhaps the elder Catton felt a strange kind of survivor’s guilt. The Yankee who became the “last survivor of both sides,” as the famed publisher, Alfred Knopf, once called him, went home to Benzonia, and spent his last years in the north woods of Michigan.