The 1937 Prix Goncourt -- and of more limited appeal than one would expect, Five interlinked novelettes of post-war communistic underground activities in China, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Agitators caught by the mystical appeal of the Marxian credo, sacrificing and sacrificed in their single-minded, single-hearted effort to make their movement universal, combatting fascism and capital. Comfort, security, human emotions and relationships are discarded in their sincere if blind devotion to a cause which inevitably leads to death. And through these episodes is interglimpsed the political and spiritual evolution of the author, the narrator, who at first ardent in his belief, sees the decay of communistic principles when put into practice, the loss of ideals and values, the betrayal of the human to the machine. A direct, moving, and frequently dramatic testimonial.