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Provenance
A Cautionary Tale
by William G. Stevenson View author's profile page

Overview


Humanity’s problems began approximately four million years ago when a glitch in our DNA altered the behavior of a small portion of the hominid population.  That new behavior distorted the evolution of our ancestors’ social structures putting us on the path we now travel.  Unfortunately, that path has taken us on a long, bloody and destructive journey, delivering us at the threshold of a dystopian American society controlled by aristocrats, their corporations, their lawmakers, and their judges.

Dr. Josh Paulson, a social anthropology professor at Harvard University, thinks he knows what happened and maybe how to change the trajectory of humanity’s future. Anna, Will, and John, doctoral candidates at Harvard, join Paulson on his quest for answers to pull humanity back from the brink of extinction.

Paulson’s lectures and books have put him on the radar of the president of the United States and his cartel of wealthy aristocrats, corporate leaders, politicians, and evangelical fundamentalists. They share a growing concern that Paulson’s rhetoric is fueling a growing unrest among the American public that threatens to expose and jeopardize the cartel’s plan for world domination.

Read more

Description


Dr. Josh Paulson spent most of his academic career reading social anthropological books and journals, researching and analyzing ancient civilizations. In his master's thesis, he theorized that human cultures are products of thousands of years of social evolution in which social structures changed as human beings evolved physically and mentally. His interest in social evolution led him to dig deeper into the related fields of social and physical anthropology gleaning glimpses of the archives of prehistoric human societies four million years ago. He presented several hypotheses in his doctoral dissertation linking modern social structures to the rudimentary tribal social structures of our most ancient ancestors. His publications, classroom lectures, and seminars all reinforce the concept that our early hominid ancestors adapted and survived with the help of their emerging language. With language comes the ability to think and to communicate. Language also gave our ancestors the capacity to develop tribal customs and norms. A key element in his theory involved the concept that somewhere along the time line of human social evolution several social traditions emerged, evolved, and eventually became an intricate part of the social institutions of modern societies.

In ancient tribal groups, an individual—usually by means of brute force—assumed a position of power over the tribe. A younger, stronger hunter took over the leadership of the hunters and gatherers and was responsible for protecting the tribe from predators. Storytellers fabricated myths to explain natural phenomenon with the creation of deities. Over hundreds of thousands of years, tribal communities flourished in the lush tropical zone of Africa. Interactions between tribes ushered in the concept of commerce as trading food, shelter, and other tribal members became a common practice. Paulson asserts that greed and the pursuit of power tainted the evolution of those four early social structures, allowing the leaders of those structures to exploit and brutalize tribal members. He argues that those social structures continued to evolve into complex institutions that are responsible for the dystopian American society of his world, because the practice of exploiting and manipulating tribal members has always remained an intricate part of the fabric of each institution.

Paulson quickly rises in popularity on the guest lecture circuit of the scientific community. However, unknown to him, he has also attracted the attention of a far-right anti-evolution sect, corrupt legislators, and powerful corporate executives. Those people are afraid Paulson may eventually arouse the ire of the masses resulting in social unrest and upheaval. The anti-evolutionists, led by Abraham—an evangelical fanatic—carefully monitor Paulson's activities—especially his seminars—and begin planning a strategy to punish Paulson for blasphemy.

Even though Paulson is engaged to Leslie, a wealthy South Hamptons socialite, when Anna Metcalf, a second year graduate student at Cornell University, asks him to be her graduate advisor, a close bond immediately develops between them. Paulson's strict policy against dating students keeps his feelings in check. However, his overly possessive fiancée repeatedly accuses him of having an affair with the graduate student. Leslie' suspicions lead her to stalk Paulson while her obsessions erode her already fragile mental stability. Her parents, knowing that Leslie has the potential to harm herself and others, commit her to a mental health facility.

Paulson moves to Harvard to take a position as an Associate Professor of Sociology. His popularity as a guest lecturer prompts him to upgrade his lectures and he creates a production team to add sound and videos to his presentations. After Harvard accepts Anna as a doctoral candidate, she eagerly begins her coursework and joins Paulson's production team as a researcher and writer.

Anna is not without her problems. At Cornell, she briefly dated David, a local man. She quickly realized he was a possessive narcissist. David began stalking Anna after she told him she would not continue dating him.

Eighteen months of anger management and therapy did not mitigate Leslie's obsessive jealousies. Soon after her discharge from the mental health facility, she gives Paulson an ultimatum to quit teaching and work for her father or she would break their engagement. After another episode of stalking Paulson, Leslie's parents commit her to a mental health facility in the Gulf of Panama for the criminally insane.

With Paulson's engagement officially terminated, Anna and Paulson each plan to develop a closer relationship with each other. However, David has followed Anna to Cambridge and begins stalking and harassing her. Other, mysterious events put Paulson and his term on high alert as they prepare for a major conference. Early in his tenure at Harvard, Paulson joined with a group of academic colleagues to write a series publications and organize several rallies promoting stricter gun-control regulations. The upcoming rally in Albany, New York is the first of four planned events.

The rally was a huge success for Paulson and the gun control advocates. However, most of what he says during the rally enrages Abraham and his group. During the Q and A part of the rally, Gideon—Abraham's brother—goes into a raging tirade, accusing Paulson of heresy and blasphemy. When Gideon begins ranting and raving, threatening to send Paulson to hell, officers from the Albany police department intervene and arrest him. Because of the audiences' responses to Paulson's presentation and Gideon's explosive tirade, an official with the National Rifle Association, numerous legislators—state and national—and many corporate leaders consider Paulson a serious threat to the American aristocracy.

Read more

About the author


As a young child growing up in West Texas, my active imagination kept me entertained most of the day and often well into the night.  Lying in bed, I recalled the events of the day and created stories around the details and the people involved, embellishing both story and characters, building plots that interested and entertained me.

Before I learned the alphabet and how to print, I regaled my maternal grandmother with stories of my adventures in her backyard.  By high school, I had developed a passion for creating stories.  However, academic responsibilities, involvement in sports, and an active social life, unfortunately limited my writing time and many of the plots and characters resided only in my mind.  I gained a renewed interest in writing my first year in college where I majored in pre-law with a minor in journalism. Even though many people told me that writers always die poor, I still wanted to develop proper writing skills and figured journalism classes would help hone my craft.

The Vietnam Conflict had taken a dramatic turn in 1965 when the federal government doubled the monthly draft quotas to 35,000 for all young men eighteen and older.  The only exemptions were college deferments and family connections.  Many college-aged men were involved in that conflict, one way or another and I was no exception. For the next several years, I once again pushed writing stories aside but managed to slake my passion by composing poetry. 

By the late sixties, the American public had grown weary of the Vietnam debacle, but a greater storm brewed with an increasing level of polarization sweeping across America.  Both sides of the issue invested much time and energy in presenting their perspectives of the war. The party in charge of Congress spent countless resources on focusing public attention on the importance of winning that conflict, covering up horrifying details of atrocities, and squelching anti-war rallies.

Somehow, our nation held together and survived, but not without deep gashes in our social fabric—some of which have never healed.  Wounded and vulnerable, yet determined, American society moved on.  At the time, I suspected that a subtle paradigm shift in our political and economic institutions had created a rift among the social strata in America that could only widen with time and usher in an onslaught of divisiveness that would eventually get way out of control.  On the other hand, I suspected that perhaps I was just a twenty-one year old kid with an over active imagination and decided, it was not something I needed to worry about.

After serving in the U.S. Navy, I went back to college and began to build a work career in the retail business to support myself and my expanding social life.  Soon after school started that fall, I found myself looking across a classroom into the eyes of a woman who has held my undivided attention for fifty-four years.  Rebecca and I often recall our first meeting and agree that what we felt was the proverbial love at first sight phenomenon.

Six years after we were married and Rebecca had established herself as a much loved and respected high school language teacher, we decided that I should go back to college.  Four years later, we started a family.  After two sons, a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and advanced courses in Social Psychology, I became a teacher.  Going back to college, especially the graduate level courses, provided the opportunity to rekindle my love of writing.  However, graduate school and teaching offered few opportunities for working on personal long-term writing projects.  I relegated bits and pieces of short stories and poems to notebooks, eventually filling numerous bankers’ boxes.

After twenty-six years of teaching, I retired.  That summer, as Rebecca and I drove to Oregon to visit our sons, I told her I needed something productive to do to fend off boredom. I told her I was thinking about working part-time at Home Depot.  She suggested instead that I finish writing one of the books I started forty years ago.  Over the remainder of that summer, we had many lengthy brainstorming and note taking sessions pulling together an outline.  When fall arrived and Rebecca went back to her classroom, I began writing.  

Read more

Book details

Genre:FICTION

Subgenre:Literary

Language:English

Series title:The Chase

Series Number:1

Pages:456

eBook ISBN:9781667873831

Paperback ISBN:9781667873824


Overview


Humanity’s problems began approximately four million years ago when a glitch in our DNA altered the behavior of a small portion of the hominid population.  That new behavior distorted the evolution of our ancestors’ social structures putting us on the path we now travel.  Unfortunately, that path has taken us on a long, bloody and destructive journey, delivering us at the threshold of a dystopian American society controlled by aristocrats, their corporations, their lawmakers, and their judges.

Dr. Josh Paulson, a social anthropology professor at Harvard University, thinks he knows what happened and maybe how to change the trajectory of humanity’s future. Anna, Will, and John, doctoral candidates at Harvard, join Paulson on his quest for answers to pull humanity back from the brink of extinction.

Paulson’s lectures and books have put him on the radar of the president of the United States and his cartel of wealthy aristocrats, corporate leaders, politicians, and evangelical fundamentalists. They share a growing concern that Paulson’s rhetoric is fueling a growing unrest among the American public that threatens to expose and jeopardize the cartel’s plan for world domination.

Read more

Description


Dr. Josh Paulson spent most of his academic career reading social anthropological books and journals, researching and analyzing ancient civilizations. In his master's thesis, he theorized that human cultures are products of thousands of years of social evolution in which social structures changed as human beings evolved physically and mentally. His interest in social evolution led him to dig deeper into the related fields of social and physical anthropology gleaning glimpses of the archives of prehistoric human societies four million years ago. He presented several hypotheses in his doctoral dissertation linking modern social structures to the rudimentary tribal social structures of our most ancient ancestors. His publications, classroom lectures, and seminars all reinforce the concept that our early hominid ancestors adapted and survived with the help of their emerging language. With language comes the ability to think and to communicate. Language also gave our ancestors the capacity to develop tribal customs and norms. A key element in his theory involved the concept that somewhere along the time line of human social evolution several social traditions emerged, evolved, and eventually became an intricate part of the social institutions of modern societies.

In ancient tribal groups, an individual—usually by means of brute force—assumed a position of power over the tribe. A younger, stronger hunter took over the leadership of the hunters and gatherers and was responsible for protecting the tribe from predators. Storytellers fabricated myths to explain natural phenomenon with the creation of deities. Over hundreds of thousands of years, tribal communities flourished in the lush tropical zone of Africa. Interactions between tribes ushered in the concept of commerce as trading food, shelter, and other tribal members became a common practice. Paulson asserts that greed and the pursuit of power tainted the evolution of those four early social structures, allowing the leaders of those structures to exploit and brutalize tribal members. He argues that those social structures continued to evolve into complex institutions that are responsible for the dystopian American society of his world, because the practice of exploiting and manipulating tribal members has always remained an intricate part of the fabric of each institution.

Paulson quickly rises in popularity on the guest lecture circuit of the scientific community. However, unknown to him, he has also attracted the attention of a far-right anti-evolution sect, corrupt legislators, and powerful corporate executives. Those people are afraid Paulson may eventually arouse the ire of the masses resulting in social unrest and upheaval. The anti-evolutionists, led by Abraham—an evangelical fanatic—carefully monitor Paulson's activities—especially his seminars—and begin planning a strategy to punish Paulson for blasphemy.

Even though Paulson is engaged to Leslie, a wealthy South Hamptons socialite, when Anna Metcalf, a second year graduate student at Cornell University, asks him to be her graduate advisor, a close bond immediately develops between them. Paulson's strict policy against dating students keeps his feelings in check. However, his overly possessive fiancée repeatedly accuses him of having an affair with the graduate student. Leslie' suspicions lead her to stalk Paulson while her obsessions erode her already fragile mental stability. Her parents, knowing that Leslie has the potential to harm herself and others, commit her to a mental health facility.

Paulson moves to Harvard to take a position as an Associate Professor of Sociology. His popularity as a guest lecturer prompts him to upgrade his lectures and he creates a production team to add sound and videos to his presentations. After Harvard accepts Anna as a doctoral candidate, she eagerly begins her coursework and joins Paulson's production team as a researcher and writer.

Anna is not without her problems. At Cornell, she briefly dated David, a local man. She quickly realized he was a possessive narcissist. David began stalking Anna after she told him she would not continue dating him.

Eighteen months of anger management and therapy did not mitigate Leslie's obsessive jealousies. Soon after her discharge from the mental health facility, she gives Paulson an ultimatum to quit teaching and work for her father or she would break their engagement. After another episode of stalking Paulson, Leslie's parents commit her to a mental health facility in the Gulf of Panama for the criminally insane.

With Paulson's engagement officially terminated, Anna and Paulson each plan to develop a closer relationship with each other. However, David has followed Anna to Cambridge and begins stalking and harassing her. Other, mysterious events put Paulson and his term on high alert as they prepare for a major conference. Early in his tenure at Harvard, Paulson joined with a group of academic colleagues to write a series publications and organize several rallies promoting stricter gun-control regulations. The upcoming rally in Albany, New York is the first of four planned events.

The rally was a huge success for Paulson and the gun control advocates. However, most of what he says during the rally enrages Abraham and his group. During the Q and A part of the rally, Gideon—Abraham's brother—goes into a raging tirade, accusing Paulson of heresy and blasphemy. When Gideon begins ranting and raving, threatening to send Paulson to hell, officers from the Albany police department intervene and arrest him. Because of the audiences' responses to Paulson's presentation and Gideon's explosive tirade, an official with the National Rifle Association, numerous legislators—state and national—and many corporate leaders consider Paulson a serious threat to the American aristocracy.

Read more

About the author


As a young child growing up in West Texas, my active imagination kept me entertained most of the day and often well into the night.  Lying in bed, I recalled the events of the day and created stories around the details and the people involved, embellishing both story and characters, building plots that interested and entertained me.

Before I learned the alphabet and how to print, I regaled my maternal grandmother with stories of my adventures in her backyard.  By high school, I had developed a passion for creating stories.  However, academic responsibilities, involvement in sports, and an active social life, unfortunately limited my writing time and many of the plots and characters resided only in my mind.  I gained a renewed interest in writing my first year in college where I majored in pre-law with a minor in journalism. Even though many people told me that writers always die poor, I still wanted to develop proper writing skills and figured journalism classes would help hone my craft.

The Vietnam Conflict had taken a dramatic turn in 1965 when the federal government doubled the monthly draft quotas to 35,000 for all young men eighteen and older.  The only exemptions were college deferments and family connections.  Many college-aged men were involved in that conflict, one way or another and I was no exception. For the next several years, I once again pushed writing stories aside but managed to slake my passion by composing poetry. 

By the late sixties, the American public had grown weary of the Vietnam debacle, but a greater storm brewed with an increasing level of polarization sweeping across America.  Both sides of the issue invested much time and energy in presenting their perspectives of the war. The party in charge of Congress spent countless resources on focusing public attention on the importance of winning that conflict, covering up horrifying details of atrocities, and squelching anti-war rallies.

Somehow, our nation held together and survived, but not without deep gashes in our social fabric—some of which have never healed.  Wounded and vulnerable, yet determined, American society moved on.  At the time, I suspected that a subtle paradigm shift in our political and economic institutions had created a rift among the social strata in America that could only widen with time and usher in an onslaught of divisiveness that would eventually get way out of control.  On the other hand, I suspected that perhaps I was just a twenty-one year old kid with an over active imagination and decided, it was not something I needed to worry about.

After serving in the U.S. Navy, I went back to college and began to build a work career in the retail business to support myself and my expanding social life.  Soon after school started that fall, I found myself looking across a classroom into the eyes of a woman who has held my undivided attention for fifty-four years.  Rebecca and I often recall our first meeting and agree that what we felt was the proverbial love at first sight phenomenon.

Six years after we were married and Rebecca had established herself as a much loved and respected high school language teacher, we decided that I should go back to college.  Four years later, we started a family.  After two sons, a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and advanced courses in Social Psychology, I became a teacher.  Going back to college, especially the graduate level courses, provided the opportunity to rekindle my love of writing.  However, graduate school and teaching offered few opportunities for working on personal long-term writing projects.  I relegated bits and pieces of short stories and poems to notebooks, eventually filling numerous bankers’ boxes.

After twenty-six years of teaching, I retired.  That summer, as Rebecca and I drove to Oregon to visit our sons, I told her I needed something productive to do to fend off boredom. I told her I was thinking about working part-time at Home Depot.  She suggested instead that I finish writing one of the books I started forty years ago.  Over the remainder of that summer, we had many lengthy brainstorming and note taking sessions pulling together an outline.  When fall arrived and Rebecca went back to her classroom, I began writing.  

Read more