Richard Amsterdam, Jewish and an undergraduate at Harvard, thought he had a mission to raise the social level of his fellow Jews -- even though his path led to proving himself as good as the next fellow- or better- a climber who would perforce be accepted for membership in exclusive clubs, invited to select debutante parties, trained through a summer job for potential postgraduate executive jobs in Boston's biggest bank. He even ditched his girl friend for a flighty Christian girl, who proved no novice in the bedroom. She fancied herself a great liberal- going with a Jew. But neither his family nor her father liked any part of it- and the engagement provided the soapbox from which Myron Kaufmann never quite comes down. He is primarily Richard, rationalizing his decision to be a Christian; he is Richard's father, a petty judge, who pleads the cause of accepting his traditional heritage; he is Wimsy's father, trying to soft-pedal his anti-Semitism, and put his objections on other grounds; he is the evangelistic clergyman who refuses to baptise Richard because he does not believe in his conversion -- and the rabbi, who is frankly material in his arguments for Judaism. And when the engagement comes to reluctant acceptance, the whole thing blows up when Richard's sister, teenager Dorothy, precipitates a scandal which had its base in her own naive insecurity, her conviction that she was pregnant after an unpleasant encounter with a lustful marine, and her rescue from what looked like attempted suicide.... The situations might have provided material for two novels or more. As it stands, Kaufmann fails- for this reader- to cut below the surface, to marshal any modicum of sympathy for any of the characters. It is a long and difficult book.