John Craig, a young Englishman with a high ""fragility index"" and a Doctorate in Philosophy, is content to borrow, rather than earn, money-knowing his family is loaded- but tries for -- and gets -- a job he does not want and delights in turning it down. When his father cuts him out of the will and when Craig falls in love with Barbara, he comes crawling back to Purity House (pharmaceuticals) to organize an operational research in one of its plants. He comes, at first sneeringly, then understandingly, in contact with that plant's head, with the general works manager, and with the head of sales and advertising, and through their undemanding friendliness turns in a successful report. But the price is the jobs of all three with Craig now top man so that with his father's death and the old will still standing he is free -- to break with Purity and Barbara. The ""unreasoning dislike of authority"", the disdainful attitude towards ""capitalist swine"", young blood (that flows easily), and the area of active revolt accounts for gambits and shockers perpetrated by an intelligent non-conformist which have their moments of amusement -- which, too, may well be counterbalanced by annoyance. Petulance, rather than anger, motivates this excoriation.