Best of its kind -- and this includes adult books -- the author who knows and loves the people of whom she writes has given a clear, colorful picture in a book which is a challenge to all who are willing to face it. We find out about the world's largest and most populous country, a land containing 182 distinct nationalities, 150 different languages, a country whose natural resources are the greatest in the world. We in the U.S. should understand the growing pains of a great nation whose people have consciously copied us, whose land presents similar challenges. She gives a concise history of the period of the Czars when every liberal thought was persecuted, when writers and musician combatted feudal tyranny. With the rise of the Bolshevist Lenin the common people were given their chance; Stalin brought reality out of Lenin's dream, and said of Democracy that ""it had never been fully tried"". Then come thrilling chapters upon each one of the Republics; we learn their history, terrain, people, industries. Each seems more fascinating than the last -- and her very chapter headings are poetic and dramatic. In her final summing up she shows through the war what a unity of 16 Republics can achieve -- she personalizes individual campaigns -- she shows how Stalin, ""staking everything on mobilizing the total capacity of ordinary people"" has given us the USSR of today, a formerly oppressed nation united by a common loyalty and a common cause. The market should be infinitely wider than the High School groups for which it is intended.