A vast, sprawling novel of four generations from the Civil War to this war, of topical rather than historical interest, this chronicles the MacAllister family and gives an over-all review of America's growth. There is the Virginia-born father who fought in the Union Army on Grant's staff; Kate, his wife, who went to the Kansas frontier; and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There is a Quatres Arts ball, the McKinley campaign, the Spanish-American war, Roosevelt's Rough Riders, newspaper work in Paris, Russia, the first World War, Jim Crowism in the South, the rise of Nazism, etc. The family fans out in time and place to participate, in a minor way, in most of the significant events and with most of the significant personalities of the last hundred years. And too- the author deals with the personal, creating some memorable characters as he traces their romantic and professional careers. Another attempt at the ""great American Novel"" which rates as a far above average rental.