Once again Howard Fast has chosen the battleground of social and industrial labor as his forum; once again he has taken a key figure, built him up to giant size- and exposed his feet of clay. He has picked a controversial labor leader this time; there are elements of William Green and of John II. Lewis- and the story of either man will find its parallels here. The major part, however, deals with his labor leader as a fighter first for the rights of the miners- then for power and control, often at sacrifice of the rights he claimed as his goal. The corruption of power in the hands of one man has been a recurrent theme in Fast's writing. He has built his story, however, not around his central theme but around the man himself, Ben Holt, as shown by the two people closest to him, -- Dorothy his wife, and Al Cutter, who was sent to West Virginia in 1920 to report on a threatened labor war- and who ended as Ben Holt's public relations man, overworked, underpaid -- and while often bitterly aware of Ben's lessening stature as a man, always staunch, loyal- and devoted. There are threads of sub-plots but always tied to the main issues. And there is a stirring background chronicle of labor history in the making -- an area in which few writers can equal Fast.