Spanning approximately forty years, these memoirs are tied together with the thematic thread of a writer-to-be coming of age. They chronicle his discoveries of nature, family, love, community and self. For several years he becomes immersed in music as a member of an R&B and jazz band. During the 1960s Civil Rights Movement he narrowly escapes, but has a close look at death by the hands of law enforcement officers in of all places, a college campus. He drops out of college, fights off drug abuse and winds up in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. After regaining his equilibrium, he continues his higher education, and realizes some measure of personal success. During this time he is recruited by the CIA. The final piece, "Rewind", reveals a mature, stable, self-aware man who knows who he is and where he fits into the world as he now sees it-a still-racist world that is reluctant to embrace him, but one in which he is determined and prepared to realize his long-recurring dream of being a writer. Engaging and articulate, these memoirs go beyond being one person's life excerpts, to reflecting American history and culture, and human search for self.