Richard Barager is featured at Write On, Oceanside! on Sunday, July 24th, 1-4pm in the Oceanside Civic Center Community Rooms
Write On, Oceanside! by the Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation, partnering with Oceanside Library, is a book fair celebrating Oceanside-only authors. Admission is Free.
Interview with author Richard Barager on Conversations LIVE
Multi-Media Book Signing Event for Altamont Augie
Author Richard Barager will discuss and sign his novel as well as screen the evocative book trailer.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Barnes & Noble
2615 Vista Way
Oceanside, CA 92054
- Intellectual Conservative: “Richard Barager’s novel of the 1960′s has the decade precisely on target in more ways than one.” Read more…
- The American Culture: “Altamont Augie is an excellent first novel, and a story long overdue.” Read more…
- Booklist: “The drowning death of an unidentified man at the infamously violent 1969 Altamont free concert sets the stage for first novelist Barager’s dynamic, passionate, often moving exploration of the turbulent and politically divided 1960s in the U.S.” Read more…
- Amazon.com 5-Star Review by Midwest Book Review: “Telling a story of a chaotic decade that was a social civil war in itself, Altamont Augie is a fascinating read of the harsher conflict of words on the home front and what they meant to the soldier.” Read more…
- Amazon.com 5-Star Review: “‘Wow, man!’ and ‘Outstanding!’ This sums up the author’s ambitious and very successful attempt to blend the campus atmosphere of the 60′s and combat action of Vietnam in one novel. This would be a truly exceptional book if written by any author. As a first novel it is simply amazing.” Read more…
- Nephrology Times: “While recovering from a spinal stress fracture two years ago, California-based nephrologist Richard Barager, MD, took time to focus on his other passion: literature. On the heels of the release of his first novel, Altamont Augie, he spoke to Nephrology Times about why he thinks prescribing novels is useful in helping patients better understand illness.” Read more…
- FrontPage Magazine: “‘If you can remember the sixties,’ quipped Timothy Leary, ‘you weren’t there.’ Well, for those who can’t remember, or weren’t ever there, Richard Barager’s new novel Altamont Augie thrusts the reader into the torrent of that tumultuous era more successfully, and from a more unique perspective, than any I’ve read.” Read more…
- The 60′s Official Site, Carl Hoffman: “The author succeeds in bringing to life fictional characters woven into true life events during the turbulent sixties…The roller coaster ride continues with each page you turn. I could not put the book down and wanted more.” Read more…
- Pajamas Media, Michael Finch: “It is a love story above all else, about how love endures through war and politics; how it endures though a decade like none other. That alone would make this a very readable book and the author tells a great love story. But to weave that through the turmoil of Vietnam, the college campuses, the cultural breakdown, the racial shifts, and to keep a story flowing and interesting is a singular accomplishment.” Read more…
- TCM Reviews: “This book had me hooked from the opening sentence. I was active in the anti-war movement of the 1960s, was at Woodstock and devoured the music of the era. This book was, in many ways, like reliving many of my most memorable experiences between 1966 and 1970.” Read more…
- Amazon.com Top 10 Reviewer & Vine™ Voice Member: “First novels attract this reader like a magnet: some hold nascent concepts for storytelling without the facility to bring to the page the magic in the writer’s concept, others show solid enough promise worth waiting for the growth that feels destined to come in the next venture, and others startle with unexpected brilliance. ALTAMONT AUGIE by nephrologist Richard Barager is most assuredly in the third category, offering a finely polished, assured book that is so well researched that it is difficult to believe he did not experience first hand the facets of the complex story he relates. From the opening pages that overflow with creative phrasing and painting of atmosphere he sets out to relate a history of the turbulent period of the 1960s – the time of youthful revolution and rebellion to a senseless war in Vietnam and the aftermath it created – and instead of writing a history book per se (which this book could easily be) he creates a story of discovery and mystery that draws the reader steadfastly to the pages until book’s surprise end. In a word, this book is brilliant! ” Read more…
- Kirkus Reviews: “A well-written, gripping novel that expertly blends fact and fiction, love and conviction.” Read more…
- ForeWord Clarion Book Reviews: “… historical fiction at its very best. The main characters are true-to-life and make the readers care … Barager’s writing is always on target.” 5 Stars. Read more…
- Book Reader Heaven: “For those who lived the story, I believe they will find this book a must-read…Really, you don’t want to miss this one.” Read more…
“Richard Barager has written the novel of the Sixties—a passion-filled, pitch-perfect, roller coaster of a tale about the decade that divides us all.”
—David Horowitz, former New Left radical and best-selling political author
“The portrayal of the 1960s is the most vivid and true I have ever read … the product of both genius and passion, a powerful and unforgettable literary experience.”
—Mark Spencer, winner of the Faulkner Award for the Novel for The Weary Motel
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Author Available for Interview | Request a Review Copy
The Literary Doctor: Healing Hearts and Souls One Book at a Time
Dr. Richard Barager introduces the use of literary fiction as a means of encouraging patients and physicians alike to more fully comprehend the meaning of illness in an empathic, moral way.
(Los Angeles, CA, April 10, 2011) The benefits of reading select works of fiction for those attempting to cope with or treat serious illness are well documented. Formal literature and medicine courses, a category of instruction known as narrative medicine, have been offered as part of U.S. medical schools’ curricula for over forty years. The Johns Hopkins University Press even publishes a biannual scholarly journal, Literature and Medicine, to explore “…connections between literary understanding and medical knowledge and practice.”
Disease can be understood through the process of scientific method; illness⎯the fully expressed human response to disease, manifested by its emotional, spiritual, financial, and physical aspects⎯requires a different paradigm. Illness is best understood in story form, i.e. the narrative.
Narrative medicine helps future physicians better comprehend what Dr. Barager calls “the personal agony and transcendent majesty of the afflicted.”
Barager is a champion of the healing power of literature, and from time to time prescribes specific novels to receptive patients and their families to help them cope with their burden of illness. Dr. Barager has engaged the medical community at large in this endeavor via The Literary Doctor, a blog category devoted to the use of literary fiction to help patients and physicians alike explore the meaning of human illness in a way scientific method cannot.
Richard Barager, MD, FACP, is a nephrologist in private practice in San Diego’s North County, and the author of the newly published novel, “Altamont Augie,” a startlingly vivid portrayal of one of the most colorful and turbulent periods in recent American history: the 1960s.
For more information about Richard Barager and his book, visit www.richardbarager.com
To request a review copy of “Altamont Augie” or to schedule an interview with the author, contact email@example.com, (805) 898-2263
Press Release Archives:
• March 29, 2011 | Doctor Who Prescribes Novels to Patients Writes One of His Own
• March 17, 2011 | Interloper Press Announces Release of Outstanding Book Trailer for Richard Barager’s Compelling Debut Novel, “Altamont Augie”
• January 16, 2011 | Altamont Augie A Compelling New Novel by Richard Barager
Questions for the Media
- Altamont Augie is your first novel. What inspired you to become a writer?
- Set in the 1960’s, Altamont Augie explores the complex rift that played out among college students and young adults who held widely divergent views of America’s role in the war in Vietnam. What sort of research did you do to understand the mindset of the crusaders on the left and on the right?
- At the core of your book is a love story between David Noble and Jackie Lundquist, who have diametrically opposing views of the war. One sees the war as a failure of national conscience and the other a failure of national honor. How did you develop the characters and are they based on people that you knew, well-known activists from that era, or purely from your imagination?
- You write with great insight into the battle at Khe Sanh. Why did you choose that battlefield and how did you learn about the critical details?
- How will history define the legacy of the sixties?
- Describe the influence of the sixties on your development as a young man.
- How would you describe your political beliefs? Do you consider yourself left or right?
- Do you believe that the current political climate and the rise of the baby boomers to power has been colored by the sixties? If so, how?
- Do you believe that all wars are just? Why or why not? And would you support the U.S. in any war because it is our duty as Americans?
- Do you believe that if you had served the in the military you would have a different view of Vietnam? Please explain.
- How has being a doctor influenced your writing? And has writing influenced your work as a doctor? If so, how?
- You are known in the blog world as the Literary Doctor. Please describe the focus of your blog.
- Why did you decide to write a blog and what have your learned about yourself in the process?
- How will you measure your success as a writer?
- Altamont Speedway Free Festival – Saturday December 6, 1969 The concert at Altamont in the novel, Altamont Augie, not only helps to define the end of an era, but the title of the work.
- The Rolling Stones organized the concert at Altamont and were billed as the headline act. The Grateful Dead, who also planned to play, declined at the last moment because of threats of violence.
- The crowd was estimated at 300,000 – in what was expected to be the next great concert after Woodstock, four months earlier.
- Unlike the peace and love themes of Woodstock, the concert was rocked by violence, including one homicide and three accidental deaths. And surprisingly, four births were reported.
- The cult movie, Gimme Shelter, featured footage from the event.
- The Hells Angels motorcycle club, commandeered by Ralph ‘Sonny’ Barger, was in charge of security. There are several urban myths that suggest that the Angels had been paid with $500 of beer.
- Mick Jagger was punched by a concertgoer and as the Stones started their third song, Sympathy for the Devil, a fight broke out.
- In 2008 a former FBI agent claimed that some members of the Hell’s Angels had conspired to murder Mick Jagger in retribution for The Rolling Stones’ lack of support following the concert. Jagger’s spokesperson has refused to comment on the matter
- The identity of a young man who drowned while attending the concert has never been solved.
- Altamont came to be viewed as the end an era – the last dance of the 60’s.
Meet Author Richard Barager
Author Richard Barager grew up in Minneapolis and became a teenager as the war in Vietnam raged on, both in the villages of a continent thousands of miles away from his neighborhood and in spirited protests in cities across America.
Although too young to be directly affected by the war, he was acutely aware of the controversies swirling around his community and the themes of strife and confusion he saw on television. The memories of those turbulent years between 1966 and 1969 stayed with him long after he had grown up and left Minneapolis.
By the time Barager was eighteen and eligible for the draft, it was 1973 and the war was winding down. He drew a high lottery number in the draft and never served in the military, instead going off to college and then medical school, both at the University of Minnesota.
It took Barager three years to write Altamont Augie, with much time spent researching the sixties, but it was reading about the death of an anonymous drowning victim at the Altamont Speedway rock festival in December of 1969 that set in motion the story’s plot and character development.
Writing Altamont Augie gave Barager the opportunity to finally answer the question that had plagued him as an inquisitive young boy since the early days of Vietnam: Why did the protestors not want the U.S. to win the war? And what were the sixties really about? It was not the much-ballyhooed Generation Gap, but rather the schism that developed between college students of the New Left and New Right that defined the era for him, and now gives his readers an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of that often misunderstood time.
A self-described lone wolf, Barager flows easily from doctor to writer, finding passion and direction in the boundless demands of two consuming callings.
Recently, Barager has reached out to his community through his blog, the Literary Doctor (www.literarydoctor.com), which uses “fiction as a means of encouraging patients and physicians alike to more fully comprehend the meaning of human illness in an empathic, moral way.” His blog can be accessed through his website: www.richardbarager.com.
This committed and thoughtful writer and doctor has a way of looking at his world that both unites the two parts of his being and promotes healing and challenges the intellect.
A well-respected physician, Barager has twice won his county medical society’s “Top Doctor” award for distinguished care in his field. He lives in Vista, California, with his wife and has two adult sons.