Intriguing satire of a future USA obsessed with status gained through fashion and possessions... Unfortunately this is far from one of Reynolds' best, being hugely expanded (in other words, padded out) from "Status Quo" (Analog, August 1961).

Many of Reynolds' novels were fixed-up from stories first published in magazines. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction recommends the original, and shorter, magazine texts. It would be interesting to compare them.

It was always a great pity that Mack Reynolds (1917-83), who had a wealth of fascinating ideas and socio-economic speculation (from a left/radical perspective), could only get his work published in paperback originals which (presumably) paid little and soon vanished from sight. Quality suffered because of the quantity he had to write in order to pay the bills!