A thoughtful -- inquiring novel of motivations, of trends and persuasions, and the pressures and forces molding and conditioning modern man, this time exemplified in Carlos, a mountain boy of a Latin American country. Carlos is divorced from the ideals of his old uncle when he sees the violence following the backwash of a revolt in the city of San Marcos, and his murder of his step-brother drives him from home. In the city he goes from a gang of lawless kids to a job with Don Ricardo, a liberal judge, who gives him schooling in the Catholic church. Doubts drive him into railroad building, and he is continually confronted with the despair caused by the iron hand of the dictator, Ronca, who is backed with the money of American Prettyman. Trying to save his bride's father, a confirmed Marxist, Carlos is jailed in a medieval dungeon, is released through his wife's position as Ronca's mistress, and finds, among the charcoal burners, the word of Communism offering hope for their plans. Carlos is instrumental in getting the fierce guerrilla bands to join the new uprising, and witnesses the victory in San Marcos. But he learns that Don Ricardo, the new president, along with others, is ready to deal with the old enemy. There is a strong feel of Latin American character as well as country, of individual as well as national psychology, and the ideological arguments are sounded in detail -- this won the Stegner prize of 1948 at Stanford University.