Alumnus seeks truth with 1960s political novel
Coming to Seton Hall, Robert Starosciak had no idea that he would one day write a novel, let alone write a novel that would garner positive reviews.
Starosciak, a 1975 graduate, has written a political fiction titled “The Bobby Fulton Story,” which explores the political landscape of the 1960’s in comparison to the present day.
“My book is about a young man from a small town who dares to run for elected office against the political machine,” Starosciak said. “It is a look into how our politicians and politics have changed. How money now plays such a big role in the system, how once idealistic candidates turn their backs on the people who elected them and how the system has created the career politician who cares more about being re-elected than anything else.”
This is not Starosciak’s first stab at politics. He has always been interested in politics and what makes people run for office, which is why he decided to work on Senator Bill Bradley’s first campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1978, he said in an email interview.
“When you are young and working on a campaign, it is not glamorous,” he said. “But you do it because you have the belief that this candidate will make a difference and will improve our political process and conditions in the state or the nation and you are idealistic and work for those lofty goals.”
Starosciak wants to bring attention to political altruism and hopes that students will see the truth in how our political system works, how it has been damaged and how they can restore it to what it should be. Setting the idealistic novel in the 1960’s, however, is an interesting choice due to the societal issues, such as civil rights, racism and oppression, all of which needed political attention in order to make any change. Starosciak points out that none of these issues were created by politicians and that actually, politicians helped to reconcile them.
“I am not sure that all politics was at its altruistic height in the 1960’s, but I think I want to convey that we might have trusted our elected officials more back then,” Starosciak said. “We as a nation were probably more naïve because we did not have the modern technology and news outlets we have today.”
Starosciak remains convinced that the problem in politics today is that while most who run for office begin as altruistic people, they end up disconnected from the people they were elected to serve.
Rebecca White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.