"A tale of American disinheritance told from the inside out," declared the Village Voice of this autobiographical novel. Written in 1929 by a dedicated social activist, it chronicles a woman's escape from grinding rural poverty into a predominantly male world of politics and revolution. "My aim in life was to study, not to follow a man around," asserts Marie Rogers, who struggles to establish her identity as an individual and as "a daughter of the earth," in restless pursuit of equality and justice. Marie's hardscrabble childhood and her involvement with freedom fighters of India and China reflect the author's own experiences. Agnes Smedley (1892–1950) drew upon her own search for spiritual consciousness in this powerful exploration of race, class, and sex in early twentieth-century America. Smedley's novel fell into obscurity after her death, only to reemerge decades later as a remarkable tale of a working-class woman's heroic transformation into an agent for social change.