The biographer of Woody Allen and Humphrey Bogart now tells his own extraordinary story, in a profoundly personal, deeply felt exploration of the mystery of faith--having it, losing it, hoping for its return. In a candid and rigorous analysis of his belief, Eric Lax writes about the deep religious faith and acute moral compass he developed in his youth as the son of an Episcopal priest. These early convictions guided him away from military service in Vietnam and toward conscientious objector status and the Peace Corps. He writes eloquently about the illuminating dialogues, probing all the avenues and aspects of religious conviction, that he had at the time with his father, a man of faith with a worldly sense of humor, and with his close college friend, George Skip Packard. In counterpoint to his own story, he relates Packard's decision to enter military service and mortal combat. And he describes how both he and Packard grappled afterward with their decisions, delving into the process of spiritual choice and conviction. Finally, and perhaps most movingly, he describes the arc of Packard's life--he becomes a priest, then Episcopal Bishop to the Armed Forces--while recounting how his own growing religious doubts led to a loss of faith and his subsequent, still ongoing desire to recapture it.
Eric Lax is the author of "Conversations with Woody Allen;""On Being Funny: Woody Allen and Comedy; Life and Death on 10 West; "and "The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat;" and coauthor (with A. M. Sperber) of "Bogart." His biography "Woody Allen" was a "New York Times" best seller. His writing has appeared in "The Atlantic, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Esquire, " and the "Los Angeles Times. "An officer of International PEN, he lives with his wife in Los Angeles.