In 1957, Roger "Denny" Hansen seemed a college hero for the ages: a charmer with a dazzling smile, a Rhodes scholar . . . perhaps a future president, as his friends only half joked. But life worked out differently for Denny. After early jobs in government and journalism, his life increasingly took a downward turn. By middle age he was alone and unfulfilled; he committed suicide in 1991, at the age of fifty-five.
In this engaging and clear-eyed contemplation of his late friend's life, Calvin Trillin attempts to chart the mysterious course of a career that had seemed full of limitless promise. He also embarks upon a provocative investigation of America in the 1950s—exploring the assumptions inherited by the "silent generation" as well as how those assumptions fared during the subsequent transformation of American society in the years that followed. Remembering Denny is not only a memoir of friendship, but also a meditation on our country's evolving sense of self.