With the publication of The Immigrants, "a most wonderful book," according to Harlan Ellison in the Los Angeles Times, Howard Fast once again proved himself to be one of this country's most popular authors.
In Second Generation, Fast continues the story of Dan Lavette, the young Italian who lost his parents but launched a stormy and brilliant career as a result of the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. This latest chapter encompasses the dramatic sweep of history from the Depression years to the close of World War II.
In this classic novel the central figure is Barbara Lavette, the beautiful daughter of Dan and his aristocratic first wife, Jean. Troubled by the conflicts of her dual inheritance and scornful of her mother's social world, Barbara sets out to build her own life in her own way -- a way that leads her to a Europe on the brink of Nazi terror, to love and tragedy, to the farthest reaches of a global war, and ultimately to a deeper understanding of herself.
It is the rare novelist who can create a world with such empathy and compassion that the reader actually comes to share the loves and emotions of its characters. Howard Fast is one of them.