The terrors and ignominy of ""passing"" detail the story of Daniel Gordon who comes to Elizabeth, N. C., in 1910 to start a new Christian life with this new name. Driven from Philadelphia by Jewish persecution, he makes an open stand against his own people, in his little, cheap store, but he is crucified again and again by the unrelenting aridity of the tight-minded town. He is successful in his first enterprise, and in his second, as partner to an old die-hard, in a high class dry goods store. He has Katie, scorned for her mother's sins, as a mistress; Lucy, an inadequate gentlewoman is his wife. In becoming a flattered public figure, he still fears the stigma of Jew, never realizing that those close to him know and respect his secret. His efforts to help the Negroes bring disaster, and he is at last confronted by others' knowledge of his secret, by the fact of his useless torture. Serious consideration of the price of self-betrayal and suppression, this explores the roots and psychology not only of its central character but also of the personalities and development of a Southern town. Lacks the smoothness of Gentleman's Agreement though.