A first volume of memoirs, that tells with patience, charm, understanding and amazing clarity of the strategic special mission to Spain as British Ambassador. From letters and daily notes kept during those years he tells of the efforts to keep Spain neutral, to prevent Axis domination of the peninsula, to try to break through the machinery of censorship so that news of Allied progress would come through. From 1940 to the German capitulation, Hoare was to deal with four Foreign Ministers, two pro-Axis and definitely anti-British, the other two of real assistance to him in his work; he was to sweat through the early years of German victories which bolstered Franco's belief in their invincibility. Through economic bargaining, through truth about German defeats, through crisis after crisis until political and military prestige was achieved, Hoare worked against time to prevent the drift toward the Axis. Here we see France and his obscure motivations, the Falange and its bullying corruptness, the stream of refugees and prisoners of war, Spanish starvation, the tense days of the riot on the British Embassv in Madrid in 1941, the influence of France, Italy, Russia. Illuminating, clearly thought out estimates and appraisals, this reads as personal history at its best....Even if one is at odds with the British position in relation to Spain, Hoare's presentation of it is masterly. And good reading. We look forward to its sequel with joy.