Basil March, an unsuccessful Boston insurance man who accepts the editorship of a literary magazine in New York. His adventures with the magazine’s promoters, financial backers, and staff members constitute the story. Though March has little self-confidence, the magazine thrives. Eventually he has a chance to buy the publication, in partnership with the promoter, a happy circumstance that will make him not only financially successful but also spiritually fulfilled.
Mr. Dryfoos, a rustic who had made a fortune from his natural gas holdings. It is he who finances the magazine March edits. He lives a harassed existence: His womenfolk are socially ambitious; he cannot approve his daughter’s choice in suitors; his son, determined to be a minister, makes a bad businessman; and a socialist on the magazine’s staff plagues him on political issues. Dryfoos finally solves his problems by selling the magazine to March and the promoter, Fulkerson, and taking his family on an extended trip to Europe.
Henry Lindau, March’s tutor, a German socialist who becomes the magazine’s foreign editor and reviewer. His clash with Dryfoos results in Lindau’s dismissal from Every Other Week, Dryfoos’ periodical. While demonstrating with the workers in a streetcar strike, Lindau is set upon by the police and beaten so severely that he eventually dies. He...
(The entire section is 444 words.)