No Common War

In 1835 two Salisbury brothers journey to Washington City from Sandy Creek, New York to promote their town. There they witness the whipping of a slave. Mason Salisbury tries to intervene, and is struck across the face with the whip.

Mason becomes an ardent abolitionist. In 1861 his son, Moreau, is at seminary when Ft. Sumter is fired on. Moreau cannot reconcile "Thou shalt not kill" with killing, even given the abomination of slavery. But his mind is changed when he discovers an escaped slave trying to get to Canada. Moreau and his cousin Merrick join the 24th New York Volunteers, but not before Moreau falls in love with Helen, a local girl.

The summer of 1862 is a succession of battles culminating with is Antietam.

Both Moreau and Merrick are wounded and word of their wounds reaches home. Their fathers go to the battlefield and find their sons in among the other casualties.

Moreau barely survives the trip home, but Merrick dies.

At home, Moreau becomes increasingly depressed. There are arguments with Helen, anger at Mason for supporting the war, and finally a violent father-son confrontation. It is a long, brutal winter. but spring comes, and with it, the renewal of love and trust.

Luke Salisbury

Luke Salisbury was born in Rhinebeck, New York. He grew up in Oyster Bay and Huntington, Long Island and attended the Hun School of Princeton. In 1965 he read The Great Gatsby and his fate was sealed. All he wanted to do was write as well as that book was written, and if he couldn't do it, to try. In 1969 he graduated from New College in Sarasota, Florida, an experimental college that offered few rules and no grades. In 1984 he graduated from the Boston University Creative Writing Program. He taught at Bunker Hill Community College from 1984 to 2012.

Following Mr. Salisbury's graduation from New College, he taught third grade in the Bronx where he learned about America in a way that could not be learned in any other way. His first novel, The Cleveland Indian, inspired by the first Native American to play major league baseball, was published in 1992 by The Smith and reissued by Black Heron Press in 2007. No Common War is Mr. Salisbury's fourth book of fiction. He has published one book of nonfiction, The Answer is Baseball, called the best baseball book of 1989 by The Chicago Tribune.

Mr. Salisbury is a former secretary and vice-president of the Society for American Baseball Research and has contributed articles to many baseball books and magazines. His awards include Book of the Year (Online Review of Books & Current Affairs) and Best Historical Fiction 2006 (USABookNews), both for Hollywood & Sunset, his second novel.

He lives in Chelsea, Massachusetts with his wife, Barbara. Their son, Ace, is a filmmaker in Brooklyn.

Marketing & Publicity
  • ARCs will be sent to Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and other newpapers and journals.
  • Testimonials on the book jacket are by Tim O'Brien and Tracey Kidder.
  • Author will do interviews on select radio and print media (TBD).
  • Author will do readings and book signings in the New England area and select (TBD) other venues.