A fascinating segment of the history of our east-west relations is aptly reported and looks at the differences and the difficulties with both eyes open. Principally a description of Perry's role in the famous treaty negotiations, the book opens with some account of the Commodore's life and personality. Here his faults as well as his virtues are noted- the iron hand that Joined with the love for pomp, and their curiously beneficial effect on the reluctant Japanese. The picture of Perry's arrival is fraught with an enduring tension, yet sprinkled with the funny incidents that made so much of the early negotiations look like comic opera. Japan's internal troubles are analyzed too, in terms of the quarrel over the shogunate and a lack of inner stability that made Perry's penetration easier.