Gerald F. Sweeney Gerald F. Sweeney - AUthor of "Last Proud Gallop" & "The Columbiad"

About The Author

The Columbiad

Last Proud Gallop

















The Columbiad

This is a family saga of 7 novels involving three generations of an Irish-American family fighting its way toward enlightenment during the Twentieth Century. It’s the story of one family’s social, intellectual and economic development and the growth of America through turbulent times — two big wars, several smaller ones, a Depression, several revolutions (social, race, gender and sexual), and the rise of the middle class and the nation during these dynamic times. There is a subtext that chronicles the rise of American classical music.

#1 – EAGLES RISING (1896-1934) – The Mahoney family saga evolves from pioneer life on an Iowa farm and includes a migration to Chicago after the questing spirit of the Columbian Exposition transforms Martin Mahoney. This is mainly the story of his son, John-Arthur, a soldier in WWI haunted by an accident in his youth. It is the story of what happens to someone who confronts trauma at the age of ten. This Chicago neighborhood novel involves the moxie girl who becomes John-Arthur’s wife, his nemesis from the Prairie Avenue Gang, and a friend, who happens to be a Wizard.

“This is a book that lingers in the mind after the final page is turned as if a wise historian has rearranged some of our preconceived platitudes.”
Easton Star-Democrat - 12/21/07

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The Columbiad by Gerald F. Sweeney
Cover art - From a Shadow Box
by Tracy Hambley
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#2 – FIRST LIGHTS (1935 – 1942) – The story of John-Arthur’s son, Jim, from his frightening childhood in Chicago, through his epiphany as an adolescent on Long Island. This is a portrait of a maverick kid jousting against the restrictive religious, social and economic mores of the prewar years. It’s about being a kid in the Depression and about losing a father. Mainly, the novel concerns overcoming a bad start.

"Perhaps taking a clue from Joyce, the novel ends where it begins: the 1939 World's Fair, where a mysterious wizard lords over the Earth, their church, not cathedrals, or synagogues, but radio, music and media, adding an extra layer of import to an already rich story."
Delmarva Quarterly - Summer 2009

"It will also touch its readers with its treatment of specific yet universal problems, including the loss of a parent, blended families, guilt, loyalty and friendship, as well as the comedy and terror of emerging sexual pressure."
Taste of the Bay - 2/09

"First Lights is evocatively nostalgic without being sentimental and honest in its assessments of the fears and fantasies of childhood and adolescence."
The Independent, East Hampton, NY- 8/13/08

"The clear answer is Sweeney's gift with words. It lifts this chronicle to a rare level. He seems to choose words like nuggets, for their shine."
Easton Star-Democrat - 4/25/08

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The Columbiad by Gerald F. Sweeney

#3 – CRASHING INTO SUNRISE (1943- 1952) – Continuation of Jim’s story into young manhood, struggling toward maturity. The story with a Long Island/ New York background describes how a jerky kid pulls himself out of mediocrity onto a higher spiritual plane and of those who travel with him—his friends and lovers. Jim becomes involved in the renaissance of New York’s cultural and intellectual life at mid-century—Village life surrounded by the New York School of Art, the Beat poets, Miller and Tennessee’s Broadway, the rise of music via Lenny B.

"His command of the language and ability to translate nostalgia and zeitgeist of an era into an intellectual reality for readers of all ages makes his work substantial and a worthwhile endeavor."
Coastal StyleSeptember, 2011

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The Columbiad by Gerald F. Sweeney

#4 – A TOURNAMENT OF A DISTINGUISHED WHITE ORDER (1953-54) – Jim’s army experience in the ranks and at home. The story involves his wild ride with a struggling and passionate blonde actress in Manhattan, and his choice between two army friends, one a tough street-smart New Yorker, the other a sensitive aesthete. (Needs revision)  


#5 – A Sixties Novel - Jim’s family life. The assassinations, the War, the sexual revolution, the sterility of the suburbs and the break-up of his family. Sub-plot forms around Jim’s struggle in publishing. (Unformed)


#6 – YO! COLUMBIA (1980’s) – Jim, divorced, falls in love with a beautiful young black girl, Columbia Ruth. A romantic novel—retaining characters like the Wizard, a friend of his father, as well as his father’s piano that plays by itself—set against the lively Manhattan magazine business. It is also the story of Jim’s quest to find his father and the music from a lost Scott Joplin opera. Also chronicles the rise of a smart black woman in the cutthroat New York marketplace.

"I loved it so much, I read it twice."
Star Democrat- 4/25/08

"If you enjoy novels that expound upon art and culture as the characters maneuver the landscapes of the heart, then volume 6 of the Columbiad series is for you "
Delmarva Quarterly - Autumn 2009

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The Columbiad by Gerald F. Sweeney

#7 – WIZARD HO! (1990’s) – In this quest novel, a merry band of Manhattan artists search for a Wizard who operates a pirate radio station that represents the embattled voice of the 20th Century. A troubled interracial couple leads a parade of dancers and musicians to find this radio maverick amid the glittering multicultural mix of New York at century's end.

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Wizard Ho!