Baker & Taylor A portrait of the life of Denny Hansen, the subject of a Life magazine cover story in 1957, describes how the young Rhodes Scholar's life, full of promise, ended in suicide.
Blackwell North Amer Remembering Denny is Calvin Trillin's most inspired and powerful book to date: a memoir, a work of investigative reporting, a book of self-examination that captures something essential about how America has changed. In 1957, the graduation from Yale of Denny Hansen - "a strapping young man with a flat-top crew cut and a gregarious manner and a broad, absolutely dazzling smile" - was the subject of a feature in Life magazine, with photographs by Alfred Eisenstaedt. A varsity swimmer and Phi Beta Kappa and Rhodes Scholar from California, Hansen was the emblematic college hero of his time and place. His classmates used to joke about the posts they would occupy when he was President. But life worked out differently for Denny Hansen. After some early jobs in government and journalism, he concentrated on foreign affairs, eventually becoming a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington. He gradually lost touch with his family and his old friends. As time passed, his sunny disposition was overtaken by "all sorts of serious problems - physical, psychological, and maybe even spiritual." Trillin's memoir is an attempt to chart the mysterious course of a life that had seemed full of limitless promise. It is also an investigation of the American fifties - of the assumptions that Trillin and his generation inherited and how those assumptions fared during the transformation of American society over the next forty years. Remembering Denny is a meditation on our country's evolving sense of itself.
Baker & Taylor The author tries to understand why a former classmate at Yale who showed enormous promise, should have ended his own life