That the author of The Proud Man could turn her talent to a period story of New York through the days leading up to the American Revolution -- and the long grim years of lost battles and discouragement that led to victory, is a bit of a miracle. Only too often are authors pigeonholed. But this reveals quite other gifts, an ability to take a central theme -- the cause of the free press- and while never losing sight of it, tell a story that is adventure and history and romance against a background that has a kind of immediacy. New York, city of merchants, with its handful of proud aristocrats, with its shipping men and panderers to men's weaknesses, with its dreamers, with its poverty and struggle, its slums and its fine houses, its churches and its places of business -- it all comes alive. The story deals with James Bethune, who at sixteen ran away from trouble- but could never escape it. New York offered him a chance- to be a small cog in getting out a newspaper. And that newspaper became his slave driver, his obsession. How it survived incredible odds in a city at war, how the ancient trouble met head on with Bethune's new conscience,- make a rewarding book. If there's a drop of printer's ink in your blood you'll love it.