This is a view of the machinations behind government secret scientific projects and the men who run the processes or are run by them. Dr. Arthur Random was a physicist in classified nuclear research, a man who stood aloof and detached from events, in his trade and in his life. His wife, Helen, was the opposite -- had to be involved -- in doings with people (hence her several amorous adventures) or in her avocation, the theatre. Basically, this story recounts the effects of both outlooks -- that there are people so caught up with immediate affairs that they have no vision, and, that those who can see are often ineffectual because they are removed. Random's progression from the project to his position as weapons expert in Washington is followed and the people who provided the scenery along the way are described. Random's failure, the failure in his detachment, was that once he had initiated the final destructive force he was powerless to control its use, incapable in the face of the total annihilation which was the inevitable result. The manner of telling in this prophetic book is garbled in its technological meanderings and in the author's method of, from time to time, looking in on his characters.