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Eklund tells the tale of a fugitive left-wing radical in an alternate 1947 America ruled by a fascist regime who, shot for trying to assassinate a military leader, finds himself transported back in time to the day of his birth. Given a second chance, he resolves to prevent the dictatorial, war-torn future he came from--and he succeeds, rising to become the leader of a successful Marxist movement which, in an America which like his own never saw a New Deal, carries out a successful revolution in the mid-1930s. But the time traveler's idealism results only in a different flavor of dictatorship, and at last he arrives again in 1947, out of power and despairing as to whether there had ever been any hpe for freedom--only to die again, this time of natural causes, viewing a montage of other alternate worlds in his final moments, including what appears to be our own. Eklund's tale is a forceful parable about idealism poisoned by zealotry, in an obvious parallel with the French and Russian Revolutions. Its message is that no matter what one's intentions, the means chosen to carry them out will determine the outcome.