Matchmaking, flower arrangement, musicales, and the cementing of ""connections"" are the primary activities of the genteel salons of Warsaw Jewry at the turn of the century in this sweeping social panorama of Tsarist occupied Poland. Lenin is exiled in Switzerland, Rosa Luxemburg in Germany. All of Europe is tense with repressed social ferment. Adam Fabian, dutiful eldest son of a poor but honest family, has one foot in each camp: his gentile lover Wanda, his oldest friend, and two of his younger siblings are dedicated radical socialists; his beautiful aunt Salome -- the guiding force of his worshipful youth, his beneficent wealthy employers, and ultimately his child-wife Regina are addicted to the comfort and security of the capitalist ruling class. Against a background of police raids and sudden imprisonments, the territorial war between Russia and Japan, the storming of the Winter Palace, and the Polish uprising of 1905 Adam compromises his patriotism and personal loyalties for success in the cotton business. In terms of sheer and opulent (650 pp.) storytelling, it succeeds, if often at the expense of style and character.