"Inside every man lives two wolves" – Cherokee legend. Political movements demand government ownership of businesses, less immigration to America, universal health care, and other reforms as the 1800s become the 1900s. Eventually, a movement to prohibit alcohol succeeds even as middle-aged women are the ones most addicted to legal opium based elixirs. Members of Congress call American soldiers fighting in the Philippines "murderers" and a presidential candidate rails against what he calls his nation's "imperialism." Two friends from different worlds come of age during this generation of upheaval. Though one is belittled as a backwoods hillbilly from Kentucky and the other ostracized because of his religion, they learn from each other how to live and love family despite wars and social changes. The women who become their wives help ground both through WW I and the beginnings of the Great Depression.