An excellent account of contemporary Russia by a French journalist who counted his blessings when he was granted a visa, mysteriously, as his paper is the non-communist France-Soir, in March of 1950. Russian by birth and in full knowledge of the language of his native people, M. Gordey also possesses qualities of broadmindedness, understanding and past master journalism- and as a result of his trip, has serviced readers with a many- levelled, perceptive reporting job. The book is in eight parts. They range from first impressions, deeper explorations, living standards, the theatre, childhood and youth, the Russian world concept, journeys to Leningrad, Stalingrad and Tiflis, to the examination of mistaken ideas on the part of each hemisphere about the other. In conversations, in visits to museums, parks, the Kremlin, factories, night-clubs, schools, even fashion houses, the author is an avid noticer of whatever enters his ken and an intelligent interpreter of his observations, respectful, writing with assurance of what he believes as true, quick to make his uncertainties plain. Bewailing the invisible wall of vigilance against foreigners that has become increasingly stronger since the failure of the Moscow Conference, the author elucidates the irony of East-West feelings: each justifiably in his own light, thinks the other ready to pounce. A long book, this is a needed, very readable colorful portrait of a puzzling country. There are sensible, gentle explosions of myths and a solid contribution to the opening of new roads towards East-West rapport.