And Lead Us Not
A high school dropout from the backwaters of Louisiana becomes President of the United States?
From the writer who is already drawing comparisons to Mark Twain, comes this new hilarious but thought-provoking novel by David Pierson.
Wally Zeringue, an entrepreneur who gains notoriety with his one-minute editorials that promote his Capitol Cards, wins the nomination as Vice President for a major political party. And, when the President-elect dies days before the Inauguration, Wally ascends to the highest office in the land.
The new President, however, has enemies in low places. One in particular is Dan Bitterman, a former classmate who is now a reporter for the Evangeline Press-Dispatch, the President’s hometown weekly newspaper.
With his two secret informants (Cassandra and Judas Iscariot), Dan uncovers dirt on the new President, and the nation’s intelligentsia join in as Dan turns out one expose after another.
Meanwhile, President Zeringue, a businessman who has never held elective office, implements radical changes in the way the country conducts its business.
This is a book that will have the reader laughing and then thinking, laughing and then thinking.
“And Lead Us Not is a novel I would have written if I were still alive.” –Mark Twain
I wrote And Lead Us Not twenty-five years ago. I thought the whole world would like it. I did.
But reality set in. The world of editors, publishers and literary agents did not jump at it. They said my political satire “wasn’t realistic,” “lacked verisimilitude” or “simply was not believable.”
One editor addressed the novel ideas my character, Wally Zeringue, proposes as President in the story. Although I showed a flair for writing, she said I lacked the expertise to make suggestions about how to save the nation from economic ruin. (In other words: “You’re a writer. Don’t think you can come up with solutions no one else has ever thought about.”)
In the end, with one rejection after another, I shelved the manuscript and went on to other writing projects.
Then something happened: Reality changed.
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“I laughed out loud as I read about the small-town Louisiana characters. . . The author has a keen ability to describe them and their environment in minute detail.” —Donna A. Pizanie
“You won’t put it down. . . And Lead Us Not keeps drawing you in deeper . . . Pierson is clever with great characters. . . leaves you with a surprise ending.”
“A smart, witty satire of American politics today . . . mirrors a lot of what we’re seeing today with the media frenzy surrounding the current President.”
“Being from Louisiana, I truly enjoyed this novel. It held up a mirror to characters I grew up with. I highly recommend it.”
“Loved, loved, loved And Lead Us Not. Great storyline that keeps you wanting more. Could not put it down. Will recommend to my book club as it would be a fun read and a great discussion book.”
“More than an entertaining satire with off-the-wall characters . . . It is a thought-provoking masterpiece constructed over 25 years ago. . . Impossible to put down . . . Read at the risk of being swept into the philosophic mind of David Pierson.”
“I laughed out loud as I read about the small-town Louisiana characters. . . The author has a keen ability to describe them and their environment in minute detail.”
--Donna A. Pizanie
“Remarkable, entertaining and impossible to put down . . . five stars.”
“Mr. Pierson keeps the story flowing with vivid detail and humor. The characters and narrative uncannily parallel today’s current events.”
“The settings are gorgeously described and place you directly in the story. The characters are real human beings with real human flaws. The story itself would be impossible if it weren't so familiar, and it moves at a pace that ensures you won't be able to put it down. Highly recommend!”
“This book draws you in, and putting it down becomes quite difficult.”
“Excellent book! Great read that keeps your eyes glued to the pages with its flow and energy. And Lead Us Not is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.”
“Could not put down . . . Needed to stop to go to bed, but, no, always one more chapter.”
“A great read with quirky characters . . . seasoned with a sweet Southern flavor. . . Pierson’s writing style presents what seems like simple concepts that are profound and thought provoking.”
“Clever dialogue and completely unpredictable . . . A great read.”
“I love satires. The dark humor of American politics is fantastic and surprising in this book. . . a must read.”
“Timely and unique . . . The setting is engaging. . . I particularly enjoyed his grammatical quips and other distinct details that make the characters eccentric yet relatable. . . A fun read that shows what can happen when a man reaches for the stars . . . and grabs them.”
“Excellent book! Great read and keeps your eyes glued to the page with its flow and energy. One of the best I’ve read in a long time.”
“An intelligent book well worth the read. . . The shrewd plot is just strange enough to be believable, especially when read against the backdrop of politics today. The captivating characters engulf the reader in their lives.”
“This draws you in and I did not want to put it down. I recommend this to anyone who is following current events and politics and the news media.”
“It’s a fun read with great wit and humor that keeps you going.”