Al Sandine

Writer

I've been writing and publishing non-fiction for years, after retiring from a career in public service. Now I've written a novel, Barely Human, a dark comedy about the outsider in America. Read this book and your understanding of what it means to be human—and animal—may never be the same.

author Al Sandine

My latest project is a dark comedy, Barely Human

This 93,000-word novel imagines what might happen if, yielding to the low-cost labor needs of manufacturers and fast food giants, the United States had tried to absorb “humanized” bears into its population of the early 21st century.

Meet Some of the Characters of Barely Human

Jimmy Bear

Jimmy Bear

The bookish Jimmy Bear, is a second-generation assimilate and a joker on whom humans tend to project their fears, prejudices, and desires. The ultimate outsider, Jimmy faces the constant threat of harassment, confinement, and exile to a wilderness he has never known and fears.

Charlie Higgins

Charlie Higgins

Charlie Higgins is a working-class guy with a latent allergy to bears. His instant wealth and freedom from work is a source of shame, best forgotten in a drink. His drinking costs him his relationship with...

Jolene

Jolene

Jolene, a smart woman who gets what she wants...and the woman Charlie loves. She likes Charlie, but he isn't enough for her...and she's too much for him.

Read the first three chapters

Our story begins with the adoption of Jimmy and his little sister Ursula by a human couple, Charlie and Rhonda.

I've shared the first hundred pages of the manuscript on this site. Learn more about Barely Human or read chapter one.


Books

For more see the Publications page

Deadly Baggage

What Cortés Brought to Mexico and How it Destroyed the Aztec Civilization

Deadly Baggage explains the success of the famous Cortés expedition not by description of the personalities and actions of the key players in a historical drama but in terms of the conquest’s underlying biology, history, geology, technology, geography, and culture. Deadly Baggage includes maps and illustrations.

The Taming of the American Crowd

From Stamp Riots to Shopping Sprees

Barbara Ehrenreich called this book “a unique blend of popular culture and working class history—written with great flair. . . . ” CHOICE’s Current Reviews for Academic Libraries described Taming as “impassioned, with apt examples,” predicted that it would become a standard reference that is “highly recommended” for all levels of libraries, and selected the book as an outstanding academic title for 2010.

Plundertown

Coos Bay Enters the Global Economy

Around 2000 I visited the coastal town in Oregon where I’d spent my childhood. I was appalled by the changes that I saw there and inspired to write this book, which though no longer in print, is easily obtained through Amazon. Ariel Dorfman said of Plundertown, “By taking this heart-rending journey into his own luminous past and the more remote and somber past of the lumber town where he grew up, Al Sandine has masterfully laid bare some of the most crucial issues facing America and the world today.” Plundertown includes many photos of the Coos Bay area, past and present.

Praise for my Previous Books

For more see the Publications page
By taking this heart-rending journey into his own luminous past and the more remote and somber past of the lumber town where he grew up, Al Sandine has masterfully laid bare some of the most crucial issues facing America and the world today. An important, accessible, daring book, of interest to anyone puzzled and outraged by the dilemmas and secrets of globalization.
Ariel Dorfman on Plundertown

Ariel Dorfman on Plundertown

Acclaimed novelist, human rights activist
In this well-written and deeply engaged study, Al Sandine seeks to illuminate the importance and flexibility of the crowd as a means of popular expression in the past and to account for, if not the disappearance of the crowd, then certainly its 'taming' in modern times.

Patrick J. Connor on The Taming of the American Crowd

Reviewer for Labor History
Taming recounts a wealth of illuminating and often inspiring episodes of popular struggle ... and offers refreshing glimpses of mass street actions that have shaped U.S. history at crucial turning points, including several that have been largely forgotten.

Stephen McFarland, Jr. on The Taming of the American Crowd

Journal of the Research Group on Socialism and History Online

Contact

To contact me please write to me at alsandine[at]aol[dot]com.