This book tells the story of Charles Andrews Fenton (1919-1961), a charismatic teacher, scholar, and writer who at the apparent apex of his career died by jumping from the top of the Washington Duke hotel in Durham, NC. Fenton led a fascinating life, challenging all authority, often taking risks, and inspiring many of his students at Yale and Duke. Fenton s story is a compelling one, yet it takes on further meaning when seen in the context of the times. His academic career coincided with the notoriously conformist 1950s, a time when individualism in American life was looked at askance, so that his very nature placed him constantly at odds with prevailing views. Yet it was that jaunty refusal to accept received wisdom that made him such an appealing figure to his students and many of his colleagues.