The phenomenal success of The Native's Return has paved the way for this novel from the pen of its author. Even without that introduction, this would rate as an exceptionally interesting and vital sort of book. Adamic uses a frame within which to set the tale. He meets on the battlefields of France a man with whom he finds a slender link -- his grandfather was a Slovonian immigrant, and came from a village near Adamic's own. Several years later their paths cross again and Adamic is drawn into his life very intimately, and inherits, on his death, the request to give his story -- the story of the third generation American -- to the public. A psychological novel, with the central character a failure, a man who is driven by the urge to find his place in the world, who is overburdened by the careers of his brother, a gangster, and his cousin, a labor leader, both martyrs to their causes, and who cannot, himself, escape from loneliness, futility, emotional starvation. Fascinating in its unfolding, and of tremendous interest to those who seek a better understanding of the roots of our American civilization. A book for which a public exists, but which must be ""sold"".