American Subversive Summary & Study Guide

David Goodwillie (author)
This Study Guide consists of approximately 48 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of American Subversive.
This section contains 923 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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American Subversive Summary & Study Guide Description

American Subversive Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on American Subversive by David Goodwillie (author).

American Subversive by David Goodwillie is an interesting novel about how two unrelated individuals get involved in a bombing in New York City. Aidan Cole receives an anonymous email blaming the bombing on Paige Roderick, and when he pursues Paige, his life changes drastically in only a few days as he becomes involved with Movements and Actions he knows nothing about. American Subversive is an entertaining, though disturbing, account of one activist group's attempts to change the world.

Hiding in a safe house, Aidan Cole begins writing to explain his actions as Paige Roderick is doing the same elsewhere. At the party of Aidan's estranged girlfriend, Cressida, Aidan checks his email to find an anonymous email from EmpiresFall containing a photograph of Paige Roderick in front of 660 Madison Ave which was recently bombed; the caption says she is responsible. Paige meets Keith and Lindsay at a truck stop, and they drive to Vermont to plan their Actions. Paige became involved with various activist groups after her brother, Bobby, was killed in Iraq, and she has recently fallen in with Keith Sutter. Hesitant to deal with the hassle the FBI will pose if he posts his newfound information on his blog,, Aidan searches for Paige Roderick online, but when his efforts are futile, he contacts Cressida for help, asking her to research Paige and two other names. Keith tells Paige that, in Vermont, Lindsay will get a job in town in order to be their eyes and ears, while he and Paige will work from the house, planning Actions.

When Aidan and Cressida meet for dinner, Cressida is convinced that LeRoux is the focus of Aidan's search, causing her to storm off angrily when he refuses to pursue the story, but Aidan leaves the restaurant with a new photo of Paige Roderick which is attached to an article about a dance at Fishers Island. Aidan calls Julian, his best friend, and tells him about the photo since Julian's parents belong to the golf club on Fishers Island. Keith, Lindsay and Paige settle in at the house in Vermont, and Keith and Paige steal two cases of Toval, an explosive, from the government for Keith to use in making his bombs. Julian flies Aidan to Fishers Island to talk to Brendan Carlyle, Paige's date in the article. Pretending to be Brendan, Aidan calls the Rodericks in North Carolina, and when they mention they believe Paige called them from a pay phone in Vermont, he calls the Vermont Directory and learns that the number corresponds to the village of Waitsfield. Paige finds a target, Indigo Holdings, and planning the Action leads to Paige and Keith going to New York to check out 660 Madison Ave, the location they plan to bomb. Since Julian refuses to go to Vermont with him, Aidan takes a ferry and a train to his mother's house where he borrows her car to drive to Waitsfield, but his inquiries in town for Paige Roderick yield no results.

Lindsay and Keith go to New York to detonate the bomb above Barney's, but the bomb goes off on the wrong floor. When Lindsay alerts Keith that a man is in town asking about Paige, Paige stakes out Aidan's motel room and follows him to the county fair where she confronts him to ask what he wants. She runs away from him after seeing the photograph of herself in front of Barney's. Back in New York, Julian does not know what to tell Aidan about Paige but suggests Aidan could help her indirectly, and Cressida breaks up with Aidan after a fight. Keith does not believe that their patrons sent the picture of Paige, so the group begins planning for their next Action; Keith wants to bomb the National News Network, N3. When Keith and Lindsay go to New York on a reconnaissance trip, Paige looks at the bomb in the garage, and when she finds it filled with shrapnel, she leaves and drives to Aidan's house. While recounting her drive, Paige stops writing after she notices a man outside the window. At Aidan's apartment, Paige tells him that she wants him to publish an expose on Roorback concerning the Barney's bombing in order to stop the N3 Action, but Aidan convinces her to wait a day and try to think of another idea while he visits his father in Connecticut.

When Cressida sees Paige in Aidan's apartment building, Paige checks into the Liberty Inn, and Aidan hurries home. Aidan interrupts his narrative to express his distress at Paige's disappearance. When Aidan cannot get in touch with Cressida or Julian, Paige takes him to the staging apartment in Chatham Square so they can confront Keith and try to dissuade him from the N3 Action. Simon, Aidan's mom's boyfriend, arrives and confesses he is Keith's patron as well as EmpiresFall. As Simon, Paige and Aidan plot to stop Keith, Simon finds a news report that Paige and Aidan are suspected in the Indigo bombing, and Aidan is distraught to find that Julian and Cressida betrayed him. Aidan, Paige and Simon drive to N3 to try to intercept Keith and Lindsay, but they are too late; the bomb is already planted. Simon tries to disarm the bomb, but it detonates, and Paige and Aidan drive away. Paige runs from her safe house because her handler's friend surveys her apartment. After N3, she and Aidan go to the Movement who protects but separates them. Paige contacts Simon's friend who sends her out West.

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