A dual biography of Ambrosio and his son Bernardo O'Higgins plays up the colorful and dramatic elements in their careers against the backdrop of Chilean history and the period that saw the liberation of South America. On-the-scene narration sets the style from the start and as the characters enter, their story reads so much like fiction that one becomes more involved with personalities and personal struggles than the dominant social trends. Ambrosio's career was a success-studded rise to power that saw him as Governor of Chile and Viceroy of Peru, but the happenings of the day live through the man rather than of themselves alone. The strain of political jealousies continued into Bernardo's day, but the break came with the movements for independence, Bolivar's in the north and San Martin's in the south. Early, Bernardo saw his place with San Martin and joined him in Argentina to return victorious and be made Chile's Supreme Dictator, only to fall again victim to plots. The church, along with the men he had requested to be openly critical, planned behind his back to the extent that Bernardo like San Martin, became convinced that he was no longer needed and left for Peru. Disappointingly short sighted in its comment on political effects, this has a vivid immediacy that enlivens the people and the storms they created.