Wellman has deduced -- from significant research -- a close relationship in thought and action between Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston in the years in which they were center stage to the coming of age of the young republic. The story, primarily Jackson's dramatic, often poignant tale, is sharply different from other interpretations but unfailingly human. Sam Houston's story, is interwoven as their lines cross,- his rise to eminence, his fall, his tortuous climb to fame as the defender of Texas. A vigorous historical-biographical novel, which by its very controversial viewpoint may gain considerable reportorial space. Young readers, fresh from courses in American history, are a ready audience.