Review From User :
One must read Heinlein's signature work to understand what all the fuss is about, from both sides.
For the RAH fans and Sci-Fi crowd, this is an excellent book, a masterpiece of the genre. For the opponents, and I understand there are many, he systematically makes a lot of folks mad, from conservatives and theologians, to feminists, and even pro-government liberals. He was way ahead of his time, and yet also rooted in a pre-war mindset that was probably infuriating to young baby boomer readers and especially to the baby boomer's parents. But the influence on the genre and on the larger culture is unmistakable.
And the next thing is that this really transcends the science fiction genre. Heinlein, excusing his later life meanderings into the weird and sexually uninhibited, was a great writer. He uses a Sci-Fi story about a man from Mars as a vehicle for him to explore and to expound upon a great many subjects, most notably theology, ideology, social and sexual mores, and popular culture.
Love it or hate it, or don't GROK it at all, this work will no doubt inspire strong emotion, this is a powerful book and a must read for SF fans.
Only Valentine Michael Smith, newborn, survived the first mission to Mars. Raised by Martians, he returns to Earth an innocent, rich heir, and “owner” of Mars. Protected by irascible popular author Jubal Harshaw, he explores human morality and free love, founds a church, and disseminates psychic talents taught by Martians. Working title The Heretic. “Stranger” alludes to bible, Exodus 2:22.