State control in the hands of conscienceless, Godless arbiters and robot like henchmen -- such is the United States of America, known as The Democracy, in 1970. And a horrible picture it is, carrying little conviction save -- perhaps -- to those prophets of supreme disaster who cry havoc consistently. Against a setting of cities, poverty stricken, with devastation untouched, and of lush countryside, where the collaborators have absorbed the farmlands of the suspects, is told the story of the counter-revolutionaries, who pose as the Military and actually cover for the far flung secret organization, The Minutemen, plotting the downfall of The Democracy. To reach this end they outwit their prototypes, imposing more and more drastic controls. Their idea is that they will force the almost inert victims to rebellion, even if they lose their lives in the process. The nightmare almost catches up with Our Hero, Andrew Durant, chosen by Arthur Carlson, Chief Magistrate, as one who can act as his agent in the rural area outside Philadelphia. The loneliness and ambiguity of his post almost trips Andy time and again -- but he wins through to the ultimate goal, as the downtrodden take over. An unexpected tour de force from a popular novelist, and one in which the preachings tend to swallow up the plot. It takes an Orwell to achieve this; she's no Orwell.