Mochtar Lubis is an Indonesian writer and newspaperman who has endured and is presently enduring incarceration because of his determination to tell the truth about his country's confusion in the face of freedom. In this novel, the first Indonesian novel to be printed in English, he writes of the pervasive corruption that opportunist leaders and businessman employ, when, as the party in power they transfer unds to their own corporations. Raden Kaslan is such a man; his son Suryono home from America becomes enmeshed in his own greed and lust; and the machinations of the Schemers reach out to ruin a man of initial good character, the modest Sugeng. Opposing the Indonesian party for the minds of the people are the communists under chmad and the democrats, in the person of Murhalim. The lives of the wealthy cross those of the ""little men"" in the streets as they brush by with their bruising cars, and in the violence of a demonstration which leaves Itam, the garbage coolie, and urhalim dead. But there is hope: the cabinet falls, a new government determined to help the people moves in; and Saimum, the ""little man"", dreams of a new life back in his village...A sure, sincere view of a city and country in the throes of transition, where wealth and poverty jostle, opportunism and highminded patriotism collide. Mr. Lubis has a sympathy for the people and a scorn for their betrayers which reaches the reader.