Now in his seventies, the Soviet scientist Peter Kapitsa has been for almost fifty years a fateful figure on the periphery of East-West relations. In his introduction to this collection of Kapitsa's addresses, essays and letters. Professor Parry gives a lucid but fevered overview of the years in which Kapitsa did his important work in the areas of pure research and applied engineering (somewhat marred also as the editor too archly plays the cold warrior). Destined to become an important figure in research efforts determining the properties of magnetism as well as low and high temperature investigation. Kapitsa's collateral interest to the West was the intrinsic drama of his life. Permitted to leave the Soviet Union in the early days of the revolution. Kapitsa never gave up his Russian citizenship or engaged in emigre activities during the decade that he worked at Cambridge. Aside from his attractive personality and brilliant capabilities. Kapitsa's role as a symbol of the international confraternity of science is important. The material contained here dwells as much on the humanistic aspects of science as it does on its philosophy, and provides a number of insights on this still somewhat baffling personality.