Never Victorious, Never Defeated is a typical Taylor Caldwell novel: a good yarn with vivid characters against a backdrop of political and spiritual decay.
The setting is Pennsylvania during the years when America, aided by immigrants fleeing certain starvation in Europe for the mirage of banqueting in America, changed from an agricultural to an industrial nation.
Greedy men are vying for wealth: They must have markets for their goods.
Cornelia Marshall, granddaughter of a railroad entrepreneur Aaron deWitt, uses her brain and cunning to achieve power and wealth.
Like her father before her and greedy men around her, Cornelia is amoral, willing to use or destroy anyone who stands in her way, including her siblings, her husband, her children.
A few patriots and saints — including Cornelia’s brother-in-law and son — see the destructive force at work in the world and attempt to counter it.
They see American society being undermined by the rise of cities, the cultivation of war as a business tool, the growth of central government, the disappearance of moral teaching.
Nevertheless, they believe eventually men of good will and common sense will defeat evil at the ballot box.
Whether their optimism is valid remains to be seen.
Read Never Victorious, Never Defeated and draw your own conclusions.
Never Victorious, Never Defeated
by Taylor Caldwell
Mc-Graw Hill, 1954
#9 on the 1954 bestseller list
My grade: B
© 2014 Linda Gorton Aragoni