In his Cold War era novel Comeback Love, Guilderland resident Peter Golden uses the weaponless battle as a backdrop to tell the coming-of-age story of the role of women in the United States.
"I guess as background music, it plays all the time," Golden, 57, said of the use of the Cold War in his book. "The point was that of all the things that occurred during the Cold War, the most important was the change between men and women."
One of his main examples of this is the presence of women in the workforce since the '60s and '70s, which he said has skyrocketed. Now a household is able to rely on two wages instead of one, something he said can really help when if one of the spouses loses a job.
He added, though, that the role of women in U.S. culture is centered on their role as a nurturer and caretaker of children, but in the book it shows them as more empowered with having access to effective birth control, better protection from venereal diseases and the legalization of abortion.
The story takes place in Spuyten Duyvil; Dutch for "spitting devil," in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, where the main character and narrator Gordon Meyers' love interest Glenna Rising is renting out a house.
"It's a beautiful place, it looks like something right out of the 19th century," said Golden. "It's like the country within a city."
Golden said that he visited the place after reading a piece in the New York Times and took pictures.
While the women's perspective has been well-documented, Golden said, he wanted to write about how their change in roles affected men.
"Their lives didn't change at all, but we were changed enormously by this," he said, calling men the "innocent bystanders" to the changes.