This is the third of Allen Steele's Coyote novels. They chart the settlement and early years of the first interstellar colony. Steele uses this backdrop as a place to comment on various present day political trends and shows a little bit of utopianism as well.
This third novel is the one I enjoyed the most. This story involves the colony being contacted by a new Earth faction than in the last two books, and the resulting repercussions. These are accentuated by the new ship bringing a stargate with them, so that Earth is now about a day from Coyote, instead of 50 years.
All three novels suffer a bit from a disjointed style. They are really a series of linked short stories more than a novel, and the jumping from character to character and place to place and time to time was a bit annoying.
In everything else, it's a good science fiction novel. Recommended.