As graduate student in Russian history with a thorough knowledge of the language and attached to the U.S. embassy in Moscow during the fateful period that started with the assault on Stalin's reputation and ended with the Hungarian revolt, the author was in a particularly good position to study the reactions of the average Russian at a period of crisis. In pursuing his doctoral thesis research Mr. Kalb experienced Soviet red tape at first hand and was in close contact with the younger generation and the intelligentsia. On trips to Kiev, Leningrad, Central Asia, Georgia and the Crimea he assiduously dodged the official guides to mingle and converse with the middle class and proletariat. From his observations and the conversations minutely reported in this book, his informal journal, Mr. Kalb has drawn the following conclusions: 1. The Russian people really want peace. 2. The Russian economy is successful. 3. The younger generation and intellectuals regard the communist ideology with mounting scepticism. 4. Russia is in a period of transition between communism as, practiced by Stalin and somewhat modified by Kruschev towards a vague and distant idea of a form of government that will serve as a realistic alternative to the present regime. There are routine sections here when the author covers material already presented in a more professional manner by Harrison Salisbury, but when it comes to a picture of Russian student life and the detailed reactions of the masses to the so-called ""thaw"" and the events in Poland and Hungary, this book provides an unparalleled and fascinating view of the Russian state of mind.