This is a very overwrought novel about the further disintegration of the old plantation- south. Joseph Augustus Turner, an overseer's son and just one generation removed from ""pore white trash"" returns home from college to find things in a ferment. The sharecroppers are about to form a union in defiance of Old Man Lige Smith who keeps their cotton in a storehouse while their families starve. Old Lige uses young Turner as an informer, until he acknowledges his own humble origins and joins the sharecroppers. Tension reaches its height when General Butler, a ""white"" Negro, asks if the union will accept ""colored"". But the sharecroppers are white supremacists still, and they turn on Butler. I wonder if you've guessed that when General Butler, who has forgotten the terrain because he's been up No'th to school, seeks refuge in the shack of the white organizer and finds only his sister at home, he precipitates the manhunt which follows. The whole disagreeable mess ends up with the death of Old Man Lige, actually the Negro's father, when he tries to shield his son. Then everyone is sorry and mellow- the reader may just be sorry.