This is a great surging novel about the amassing of a colossal fortune , the political power that comes with it, and the operation of a curse laid on an Irish-American dynasty and the ruthless driving man who founded it. Joseph Francis Xavier Armagh was thirteen years old when he first saw America through a dirty porthole on the steerage deck of The Irish Queen. It was the early 1850's and he was a penniless immigrant, an orphan cast on a hostile shore to make a home for himself and his younger brother and infant sister. Some seventy years later, from his deathbed, Joseph Armagh last glimpsed his adopted land from the gleaming windows of a palatial estate. A multi-millionaire, one of the most powerful and feared men, Joseph Armagh had indeed found a home. CAPTAINS AND KINGS is the story of the price that was paid for it in the consuming, single-minded determination of a man clawing his way to the top; in the bitter-sweet bliss of the love of a beautiful woman; in the almost too-late enjoyment of extraordinary children; and in the curse which used the hand of fate to strike in the very face of success itself. Once again, Taylor Caldwell has looked into America's roistering past as a setting for a drama of the consequences of savage ambition - and its meaning then and now.