**As joint members of the Chungking Bureau for Time and Life, the authors have based their superb report on China's years of crisis on concentrated study and intimate knowledge. I wish I could say something to make everyone with pretense to interest and concern in the future of Asia feel that here is one book that must be read. It is not going to make us feel complacent about our role in Asia -- quite the contrary. But it is going to make us read each bit of news coming out of China with more understanding, more awareness of how and why and where the news is loaded. One finishes this book with a firm conviction that this is China, with all its potential greatness, its potential and abysmal failures -- the steps by which it has reached this tragic deadlock, a deadlock which has made Asia a battlefield between Soviet Russia and the U.S.A., a situation for which we are responsible. The authors have analyzed- and made it exciting reading- the factors that contribute to the China of today, the peasant, the bureaucracy grown fat on graft and patronage, the Kuomintang, the Communist Party, the Army, the successive phases of war, from Civil War, interrupted by the truce during the Japanese war, launched again by Chiang's failure to accept the challenge of statesmanship, and now Civil War to the death, with bitterness and suspicion grown on both sides. They discuss the Hurley mission, following the recall of Stilwell, to whom they give credit for the most far-sighted policy that has been offered China. They discuss the impossible task imposed on Marshall, whose greatness is unimpaired despite the collapse of the truce, as soon as his back was turned. They discuss the potentials of the future China if once the middle road is hewed to. An informed book which- while not pulling any punches nor concealing their weighed judgment is at no time a biased, propaganda laden thesis for one side or the other. A tremendously important book, at the vital moment. As B O M selection it should reach a vast market.