The Reverend Ernest Cudlipp, almost 45, urbane and intelligent, is vicar of a prominent Fifth Avenue church in New York. Men and Brethren follows him through a singularly eventful summer weekend, his dealings with parishioners and friends, his professional and personal relationships. His solutions to the problems he confronts are characteristically forthright, often unorthodox, a product of the struggle between his beliefs and his experience. Mr. Cozzens has written a deceptively powerful novel, filled with ironical intelligence, incisive portraiture, and onrushing action. "Altogether vivid, exciting and unusual…it makes a deep impression."—Cyril Connolly, New Statesman. "A remarkable portrait…The plot is so suave and sophisticated as to be completely beguiling…Cudlipp himself, no matter how much you may dislike him, and perhaps because of that dislike, is virulently alive."—New York Times. "A brilliantly integrated and authentic characterization…Mr. Cozzens deserves almost special praise for creating a clergyman as real as Ernest Cudlipp."—Louis Kronenberger, The Nation. “It's a perfect gem and should be a must on the list of everyone involved in the church and in the modern novel at its best.”—Churchman.
James Gould Cozzens (1903–1978) was born in Chicago and studied at the Kent School in Connecticut and at Harvard University. He left Harvard to devote his full time to writing, and over time his career was distinguished by critical and popular success. His novels include Men and Brethren, The Just and the Unjust, and Guard of Honor, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize.