Johnny Savage, having narrowly survived a ride through Cuba with old friend Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders, returns to America to become involved with the movie business -- a business which poses a serious challenge to his fidelity. In Hong Kong, Johnny's half-sister Julie lives the high life with her Chinese husband Tim -- until he pays a hefty price for undermining the Dowager Empress's power.
But as the next generation of Savages grows, it provides more harrowing worries and embarassments than Johnny, Rachel or Julie could have ever imagined. Johnny and Rachel's daughter is a heavy-drinking swinger of the '20s; Rachel's son by Franco is involved with bootlegging and the mob; his sister marries a prominent Fascist in Italy; Johnny and Rachel's son has a string of romantic dalliances that earn him the nickname "the Naked Savage"; and Julie's daughter, Jasmine, is getting dangerously close to the new dictator of China.
Brought low by the Depression and their own weaknesses, will the Savages rise again?