The story of Alan Wesley, self made millionaire, who had created through his own ambition and effort- and a certain ruthlessness and inhumanity- an industrial empire which dominated the town in which it was. But through Wesley, it is the story of many such American towns and cities, where the power of industrial might and money, in the wrong hands, held the reins of political power, kept the little people ground down in fear, controlled the press, and used might instead of right to get results. Sometimes, in Wesley's hands, the goal was a good one,- better city government, even though he planned to make it his tool and used ungodly means to secure it; a less limited social pattern-though it hurt many in the process of forging through the old bonds; a cleaner press, and so on. But Wesley himself, despite the infrequent moments of softening under the influence of two women in his life, remained a brittle, hard and lonely man, who occasionally found himself on the verge of happiness, and usually lost it through his own obsessions. The story starts in 1906- the setting is a growing city in western central New York (fairly recognizable as Rochester)- and the novel, which carries on to Roosevelt's administration, has the recognizable feel of a familiar passing scene. The market might well be somewhat like that for the Taylor Caldwell novels, though there is less involvement with plot and more with character in this.