The making and subsequent unmaking of a Soviet diplomat is the theme of defector kaznacheev's now-it-can-be-told memoir, which offers, despite heavy irony and sloppy sentiment, a rewarding behind-the-scenes close-up of kremlin machinations, clandestine corruptions and general dirty work as practised both within the homeland and the world at large. It is especially noteworthy since the author, barely thirty, is a full-fledged product of the post-Revolution and his experiences at Moscow's International Relations Institute and with the KGB Political Intelligence via his Burmese Embassy post, serve to point up the increasing disaffection and/or cynicism of Communist youth in the realization that the Party and all the Marxism-Leninism ""ideals"" are merely another adjunct of social control which the ""New Class"" rules. Top insights: the sad, sour lives of Embassy people chained to the official line; intense Soviet-Chinese rivalry and mutual distrust over spheres of influence; outright forgeries abound, e.g. American arms-running, planted by the Reds in the overseas press; frequent attempted infiltrations into former Premier U Nu's Union Party; the thousand and one techniques for manipulating unsuspecting fellow-travelers. A gritty expose by a one-time cold war cadet.