The neat vista-ed, earnestly manicured acres of midwestern suburbia, exist solidly as the background for a new American dilemma faced by three generations who recognize the weakening of distant imperatives and sense a new freedom. Big Ed, a real estate developer, is a man who scorns symbols, sees things as they are, and boosts a town of the ""self-made"" as a part of a conquering, secure America with money and freedom. He is also opposing in impotent rage the Russian satellite which whirls overhead, his ""first symbol."" Young Ed, maturing at the close of the Korean war, born to sliding garage doors, well watered trees and roses, pools and music, views the failure of a Korean veteran to merge back into a young group, an estrangement natural and final to the youth. Young Ed eventually has his own boy, but by then he understands he does not want Big Ed's world and the alternatives with which he has been presented. It is his son who will receive from him no alternatives and who will be, in a sense, free.... This series of vignettes centers economically on the main theme and they are penetrating, sobering, to some extent oblique, but fresh, new.