Kurzman here utilizes the same flip-top montage technique in this Brobdingnagian evocation of the chaotic year preceding Rome's liberation on June 4, 1944, as in Genesis 1948 (1970). Again there is that saxophone prose accompanying descriptions to the interior being: ""Mussolini was silent for a moment, and his eyes reflected a deep inner wound."" With the cast of thousands, wide-screen diffusion, and shifting strata of situational anecdote, the mind strains for a tighter focus. However, with all the stylistic razzmatazz, Kurzman still manages to be convincing on the central tensions within (and just beyond) the Eternal City. His reconstruction of the exquisite expediency of Pope Pius and the equally skilled maneuvers of the German ambassador is carefully documented and underscores much that has been written concerning the Pope's more urgent awareness of Communism than of the continuing atrocities. Kurzman reviews the split within Rome's Jewish community; the hydra-headed activities and stances of the six-party Committee of National Liberation; the tenuous participation of the monarchist carabinieri in the Clandestine Front; the imbroglios of spies on both sides, some within the Vatican itself; tortures and tragedies; and brief glimpses of valor and even comedy -- the twelve-year-old martyr who held a bridge, and that famous G.I. who aped Mussolini on his vacated balcony. In spite of Kurzman's vacuum-cleaner journalism, this should be a popular item, particularly for those who remember.