Really a three-and-a-halfer, but I’ve liked Asimov since I was a teenager so I’ll cut some slack. A fascinating story mixed with completely undeveloped characters and suspect socio/theologico/politico-economic theory. Feminists beware, since the only female character in the novel is a cold, conniving, evil aristocrat. A page-turner nonetheless, and impressive for both its scope and date of pub. It was interesting to read, by pure coincidence, directly after Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies. Popper vehemently attacks all versions of historicism (including psychohistory, or “psychologism,”, as he calls it) that try to predict the future. He says they are utterly irrational, mystical, and exceedingly dangerous in character, and serve to take the responsibility for action off of mankind’s shoulders, allowing us instead to wait around with our thumbs up our a** for the deus ex machina savior. No doubt he would have scoffed at the premise of this book. But I can dig it, as far as cheap sci-fi entertainment goes.