Calhoun is a lonely figure in American history -- and Mr. Styron has done yeoman's service in writing this very human biography of a man of unwavering courage and great nobility. His was not a sympathetic nor appealing character. He was always on the wrong side. But he was a symbol of an era -- and through this book the relation of the man to the period is stressed. Those who liked George Fort Milton's Eve of Conflict -- those whose interest in the steps leading up to the Civil War (the popularity of the R. E. Lee started some readers down that lane) -- are candidates for this book. It is not light reading, but it is very compensatory.