Alas Babylon: Character Profiles
Eli Blaustein is the owner of a clothing shop in Fort Repose. He is one of the traders at Marines Park, trading clothing for food.
Ben Franklin Bragg
Ben Franklin Bragg is Randy Bragg’s thirteen-year-old nephew, the son of Mark and Helen Bragg. Ben Franklin bravely takes on the role of man of the family once his father is presumed dead in the nuclear attack.
Helen Bragg is the petite, attractive wife of Randy’s brother Mark Bragg. Helen and her two children, Ben and Peyton, come to live with Randy when Mark learns of the impending nuclear attack. Helen proves to be a capable homemaker and important member of the post-war family unit.
Mark Bragg, Randy Bragg’s older brother, is an Air Force colonel stationed at Offutt Field, Headquarters of the Strategic Air Command, near Omaha, Nebraska. When Mark learns of an impending nuclear attack, he sends his wife and children to live with Randy in Florida, where he hopes they will escape harm. Mark is presumed killed in the attack.
Peyton Bragg is Randy Bragg’s eleven-year-old niece, daughter of Mark and Helen Bragg. Peyton is temporarily blinded by the bright lights of the nuclear bombs. She works hard to contribute to the family’s resources by fishing in the river.
Randolph Rowzee Bragg
The hero of the novel, Randy Rowzee Bragg is a boyishly handsome thirty-two-year-old lawyer who lives off the income from his family’s estate. Randy’s life changes completely when the U.S. comes under nuclear attack. Formerly a carefree bachelor, he becomes guardian of his brother Mark’s wife and children, and as a veteran of the Korean War and an officer in the Army Reserve, he is called on to enforce martial law in the chaotic time after the nuclear holocaust. The experience hardens Randy and brings out his leadership ability.
Ensign James “Peewee” Cobb
James “Peewee” Cobb is a young American fighter pilot stationed in the Eastern Mediterranean. While in pursuit of an enemy spyplane, he accidentally bombs the Syrian seaport of Latakia, setting off the chain of events that leads to nuclear war.
Alice Cooksey is the town librarian and good friend of Florence Wechek. Alice is a progressive voice in the small town, battling the voices of censorship. The library becomes a crucial resource for information after the attacks.
Bigmouth Bill Cullen
Bigmouth Bill Cullen is the owner of a bar and grill, liquor store, and fish camp just outside the town limits. Bigmouth Bill becomes gravely ill from radiation poisoning after accepting contaminated watches from Porky Logan in exchange for liquor.
Dan Gunn is the physician in Fort Repose and a good friend of Randy Bragg. Following the nuclear attack, he resides at Randy’s home on River Road. Dan’s expertise is crucial in diagnosing cases of radiation poisoning and typhoid fever in the weeks and months following the nuclear war.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Hart is a squadron commander and friend of Mark Bragg’s. Randy meets him at McCoy Air Base early in the novel. At the end of the book, Paul visits Fort Repose as a member of a team surveying the Contaminated Zones. He informs Randy and the others that the U.S. has won the war, “Not that it matters,” he adds.
Admiral Sam Hazzard
A neighbor of Randy Bragg, Admiral Sam Hazzard is a retired Navy admiral and former member of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In his retirement, he keeps up with military manuevers on his short-wave radio, and is able to provide the Braggs with educated guesses about what is going on in the aftermath of the attacks. Admiral Hazzard’s information lets the family know that Mark Bragg is likely dead.
Caleb Henry is the thirteen-year-old son of Missouri Henry, Randy’s housemaid.
The younger son of Preacher Henry, Malachai Henry is Randy’s yard worker. Malachai is as reliable and hard-working as his older brother Two-Tone is shiftless, and he becomes a hero by helping defend the town against bandits.
Missouri Henry is Randy’s housemaid, a stout African-American woman married to Two-Tone Henry.
Preacher Clarence Henry
Preacher Clarence Henry is an elderly African-American preacher and neighbor of Randy Bragg. Preacher Henry gives thundering sermons at the First Afro-Repose Baptist Church, often punctuating them with the phrase “Alas, Babylon!”
The elder son of Preacher Henry, Two-Tone Henry is a drinker and a “no-account.” However, he comes up with a good plan for raising money after the war by selling corn liquor.
Pete Hernandez is the brother of Rita Hernandez and manager of the town supermarket. Pete becomes sick and dies from radiation poisoning after he accepts contaminated jewelry in trade from Porky Logan.
Randy’s former girlfriend, Rita Hernandez is a sexy woman of mixed Spanish and Caribbean blood. When violent bandits threaten Fort Repose, she helps Randy Bragg formulate a plan to bring them to justice.
Jim Hickey is a beekeeper who gives honey to Randy Bragg. His family is later killed by bandits.
Old Man Hockstatler
Old Man Hockstatler is the owner of the pharmacy in Fort Repose.
Jerry Kling is the owner of the service station in Fort Repose.
Porky Logan is a sleazy, bigoted local politician who represents Fort Repose in the state legislature. In the aftermath of the attacks, somewhere outside of Miami, Porky discovers a jewelry store with the windows blown out and gathers all the loot. Unfortunately for him, the jewelry is contaminated with radioactive fallout and Porky dies from radiation poisoning.
Bill McGovern is the father of Randy’s girlfriend Lib McGovern. After the nuclear attack, Bill and Lib come to live in Randy’s house on River Road.
Elizabeth “Lib” McGovern
Elizabeth “Lib” McGovern is the girlfriend and later wife of Randy Bragg. Lib is a well-educated, athletic woman who proves a worthy partner for Randy.
Lib’s mother, Lavinia McGovern is a high-strung woman obsessed with interior decorating. A diabetic, she dies shortly after the nuclear attack, when insulin supplies spoil due to lack of refrigeration.
A local bigwig, Bubba Offenhaus is owner of the mortuary and cemetery in Fort Repose, Vice President of the town’s Chamber of Commerce, and Director of Civil Defense for the county. Randy forces Bubba to step up to his role in protecting public health and safety after the holocaust.
The president of First National Bank in Fort Repose, Edgar Quisenberry is a conservative man who prides himself on having kept the bank solvent through even the worst of times. On the day after the nuclear bombing, when he realizes that all the bank’s money has become worthless, Edgar shoots himself.
Mrs. Josephine Vanbruuker-Brown
The former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Mrs. Josephine Vanbruuker-Brown becomes the acting Chief Executive when Washington, D.C. is destroyed by nuclear bombs. Her voice is heard on the radio.
The telegraph operator for the Western Union office in Fort Repose, Florence Wechek is the one who first receives Randy Bragg’s telegram warning of nuclear war, although she doesn’t realize the significance of the message. Florence is also Randy Bragg’s next-door neighbor. Forty-seven and unmarried, Florence dotes on her pet birds and her cat, Sir Percy.