The man who not only sees what is the necessary next step, but is willing to take it is almost always regarded as a lunatic by his contemporaries."" Arranged, roughly, in chronological order are the takes of thirteen ""lunatic"" men and women adjudged crazy, in degrees, by the prevailing code of ethics and behavior governing their time. The judgments were often temporary, for much that these unconventionalists stood for was incorporated into subsequent ethical codes and behavioral recommendations. The reader must face the problem of deciding which of our contemporary controversial characters will, in another day, be acclaimed or defamed by his society. The Grimke sisters, who participated vehemently in the Abolition movement; Thomas Paine, who learned the sacerdotal view that atheism does not necessarily preclude the belief in God, only the belief in the clergy; John Peter Altgeld, the Governor of Illinois who pardoned three unjustly convicted men in the Haymarket affair; Carry Nation who stormed the nation with her hatchet to demolish bars and extinguish drinking- these are but a few of the people mentioned in this colorful and provocative book.