Artie Saltzman and Harold Abramovitz have been best friends since they met in elementary school in East Brooklyn in 1919. Seventeen years later, Europe is on the brink of war, New York is in the grip of the Great Depression, and the two friends, now twenty-six years old, find themselves feeling stuck and unsure about their futures. They hitchhike up to the Adirondacks for a weekend at Harold’s friend’s cabin and are surprised by the arrival of two young women planning to stay there as well. Though at the time the weekend seems relatively unremarkable—aside from their awkward interactions with the girls—it marks a turning point for Harold and Artie, the moment when their real adult lives begin to take shape. From World War II to the McCarthy-Era witch hunts, from failed relationships to marriages, growing families soon growing apart, When We Argued All Night begins from this weekend and follows Artie and Harold through the twentieth century. The book spans three generations, and Artie’s daughter Brenda becomes a chief protagonist. Coming of age in the ‘60s, Brenda’s life artfully parallels her father’s and Harold’s, their politics, troubles, ambitions, and successes. Though they may not always be the best of friends, Harold and Artie are constantly drawn back to each other for support when things get tough. The novel, sweeping in its scope, looks at the way in which Harold and Artie and their wives, children, and families change and remain the same over the course of over 75 years.
Listen to the Book Buzz!Virginia Stanley
Director, Library Marketing