By Rachel M. Anderson THE YEAR GOD FORGOT US 

(Twin Cities) - Desperate times call for desperate measures, and unfortunately it is human nature for some to lay in wait and take advantage. For every economic downturn in recent history, there has been some type of scandal in which someone got rich, while others lost their fortunes.

In the 1920s, Charles Ponzi coaxed thousands of people into shelling out millions of dollars to buy postage stamps using international reply coupons. This strategy, Ponzi promised, enabled one to purchase postage at European currencies' lower fixed rates before redeeming them in U.S dollars at higher values. The scheme eventually came crashing down on him and he was sentenced to prison. In more recent times, similar schemes landed businessmen Bernie Madoff, Tom Petters and Denny Hecker in prison.

“It’s amazing what promises of riches beyond their wildest dreams will prompt people to do,” said Dennis Nau, author of “The Year God Forgot Us,” a novel that examines the economic and social conditions back in 1936. The story takes place in rural North Dakota at a time when the nation is in recession and close to depression, there is a housing crisis underway, people are calling each other names and a nasty Presidential election is coming up. 

“The year was 1936 but the story could just as easily be taking place today,” said Nau. “Nobody quite knows what’s going on or how long it’s going to last. That was also the case in the 1930s.”

In Nau’s story, a man named Al pulls into Bernadotte, North Dakota and befriends the narrator, Johnny Ogdahl, owner of the town café. Al reveals to Johnny that he is working for the Mormons who have discovered an additive that turns water into gasoline.

At first he turns down Johnny’s request to invest in the additive, but it isn’t long before he agrees to sell shares to Johnny and others in town, including the banker, the church pastor and the owner of the local newspaper. Everyone has dreams of riches, but shortly after Al leaves town with their money, an FBI agent arrives and reveals that they have been victims of a scam.

In addition to relating to the economic conditions in the story, Nau says older readers will also find themselves reminiscing about weather conditions of the past. “Like back in 1936, we’ve recently endured several years worth of droughts, floods and crop losses,” said Nau.

“The Year God Forgot Us” retails for $14.95 and is available for purchase online at and

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is being offered to you copyright free and cost free. Photography is also available for free. If you prefer to interview Dennis Nau for your own story, contact Rachel M. Anderson, Publicist, at 952-240-2513 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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