Books: Reds to Riches

THE IMMIGRANTS by Howard Fast Houghton Mifflin; 389 pages; $9.95

There is something basically unpatriotic about F. Scott Fitzgerald's contention that American lives have no second acts. The tainted blessing of early success ("the victor belongs to the spoils") and a guilty sense that character is fate may have accounted for his bitter judgment. But the fact remains that the world's best-advertised nation of immigrants was built on second—even third and fourth—acts.

Howard Fast's novel The Immigrants is yet another pop epic to underscore this fact. The life and writing career of the...

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