Probably there is something radically wrong with me, but I cannot read Ignazio Silone with any degree of enjoyment. I find him wordy, obscure, dull. And this book is the toughest going yet. Perhaps you'd better have a look at it yourself... It purports to be a caustic satire on dictatorship. There are passages of brilliant writing and the indictment is scorching and annihilating. But the method he has chosen makes it difficult reading. He has taken four figures -- puppets on a neutral stage -- and he has used them to parrot his arguments. One is the future dictator of America; one Professor Pickup, secret adviser and constantly under his scornful fire; one is a political refugee versed in the necessary technique, and one the author. Much of the argument is carried on by way of dialogue. There you have it. Make of it what you can.