The Time is 1904 to 1910. The place: Hopkinsville, Kentucky, a fairly typical Southerntown in a tobacco-growing area, where a young, ambitious Yankee doctor like Wesley Ketchum is still likely to find it hard going.
Here lives the young Edgar Cayce, already aware that he is the possessor of a marvelous gift - though he has had no medical training, he has discovered that in hypnotic trance he can not only diagnose ailments that orthodox doctors have failed to diagnose, but can also prescribe proper remedies. Thus he has cured the little daughter of the local Superintendent of Schools, who in the course of three years of ineffective doctoring had become a vegetable.
Dr. Ketchum, informed of this by Superintendent Dietrich, is at first skeptical, but is soon won over to collaboration with Cayce. Together they do wonderful things. They discover, for example, that Cayce can work with full efficiency even if the patient is totally unknown to him and is hundreds of miles away. They also discover that he can work prophetically.
But the serpent is in the garden. Always Cayce insisted that because his gift is a gift of God he must gain no improper personal advantage from it. With great anguish of spirit he has shown this determination in the illness of his oldest child and, again, in the illness of his beloved wife, Gertrude - with whom he feels a oneness reinforced by the conviction that they have lived as one in other lifetimes. Yet now to his consternation he discovers that Dr. Ketchum and, indeed, his father, Squire Cayce, are using his gift not even for great concerns, but for simple financial profit.
So the dilemma is stated: Can the gift be kept pure, or must it be repudiated? In the resolution of that urgent question, A Prophet in His Own Country reaches its climax. [via]