This has the earmarks of a best seller. There's enough legitimate tie-up with Gone With the Wind to justify bookshops selling it to customers who liked the other book. And yet it is not -- emphatically not -- ""another Civil War story,"" nor is it a moonlight and honeysuckle picture of the Deep South. It is -- to me at least -- a new background, Texas in the reconstruction period -- 1865-1890. It has enough of history to give a note of authenticity to the picture of the people, frontier calibre, but with roots, in traditions and unity of experience that goes beyond the frontier days. As a story, it holds the interest through all of its length (roughly 800 pages). The Birth of A Nation showed one side of the reconstruction picture, and stamped it indelibly on the minds of those who knew it as the greatest picture of its period. And Tell Of Time is another facet, vividly set forth, dramatic and human in the telling. From the point of view of characterization, it lacks the intense realism of Gone With The Wind. The people, while convincing, are somewhat stereotyped. But the pace of the story, certain tremendously vital pictures and scenes and incidents, make it first rate reading. Safe to stock and sell. The publishers' confidence is being backed by a boom time advertising appropriation. It is being launched with advance advertising and promotion and posters.