A friend of mine is desperate to rediscover a novel he read in the late 60's early 70's but he forgot the title and author. I'm sharing his short synopsis in the hope that one of the great minds on the forum knows the book or the author. Here it is:
Story set approx. 2000 - after a disease has decimated America.
A man with a bland, ordinary life starts out - lost and on a road. Traveling he comes across various villages in the Ohio (?) area. Villages are agricultural yet unique in that they are composed of groups of people with similar interests. One may be devoted to athletic sports another to philosophy another to impoving the quality of cheese; people choose their community based on similar interests. Everyone had an internet (pre 1978) mode of communication; therefore all the art, books, science and people in the world were available instantly on TV screens. As the man’s memories of past events start to get jumbled up and become hazy; he eventually travels to Wash. DC and ‘seems’ to know what to do and how to get around. As he accesses the inner sanctums of Government security - he gets more and more confused and hazy. Finally he discovers that the Government erased his old memories and gave him new ones.
Then he finds the terrible reason - he was the President of a failing United States. The entire country was doomed due to overpopulation. The only solution was the unleashing of a killer virus and as President, he authorized it.