Stephen Graham Sumner is a lawyer from Onteora County, New York and a descendant of the late William Graham Sumner, one of America’s forgotten great thinkers. We meet Sumner in his mid-thirties: he’s capable and passionate about justice, but his life ambitions are unformed. He becomes general counsel to Onteora Aviation, a defense-industry corporation, and meets those who will mold his ambitions, with particular emphasis on a single figure: Louis Redmond.
In consequence of his reluctant agreement to become the running-mate of the incumbent governor of New York, Sumner develops a vast distaste for what American politics and government have become. Surprised and made optimistic by his unexpected popularity, not merely in New York but throughout the Northeast, he campaigns for and wins the presidency on the Constitutional Party ticket: the first candidate to rise to the White House from a third party since Abraham Lincoln.
Sumner’s presidency is not a tranquil one. Foreign military adventures, provoked by Islamic terrorism, lead to horrifying consequences. These, plus his domestic efforts to return American government to its Constitutional origins and his support for maverick inventor and space enthusiast Todd Iverson’s orbital habitat project, cause the rise of an implacable enemy: Ian McIlvaine, U.S. Senator from California. By dint of brilliant though darkly-motivated tactics, McIlvaine succeeds Sumner in the Oval Office, and contrives a downfall for Sumner that no previous president has had to face.
Statesman is the fifth and final novel of Francis W. Porretto’s Realm Of Essences saga. Only $2.99 at: