The early days of Adam Gimbel make quite an absorbing adventure story which the author tells with the enterprise due an honest hardworking young man who did what he could against the odds. A Sephardic Jew, Adam Gimbel left home in 1835 when he was about 17 and his Bavaria was the scene of German militarism and peasant oppression of the worst sort. Accounts of the Gimbels' farm life and the struggle young Adam had to get passage on a ship to New Orleans are graphic. Once in America Adam was free to work for his own livlihood, rather than that of a tyrant baron, and, after a time as a New Orleans longshoreman, he acquired a peddler's stock of goods and went out on the road. Good merchandising brought advancement to the point where he could open a store in Vincennes and his policy of customer satisfaction brought its benefits as well. As Adam's reputation grew, so did his estate- to the point where a trip to Philadelphia brought profitable negotiations with another merchant, Kahnweiler, and preparations for marriage to his daughter, Fridolyn. As the story ends, Adam is still young but with the promise of fulfillment that made his name the shopper's byword it is today. Good.