Time has not dimmed Dean Acheson's recollections of the remarkable men he knew and worked with in the course of his career as a public servant. In surprising detail he recreates scenes and situations, some which made headlines like the Marshall Plan, the Schuman Plan, the ending of the tripartite occupation, the whole hearted adoption of ERC, and others which though confidential were equally significant, like Arthur Vandenberg's slow but complete conversion to UNRRA under the conditions of political concession, the dramatic speech Churchill never made, and Acheson's first experiences with the immutable illogic of the Russians. As he muses, so we wonder with him. How would history have changed its course if the several paths open had been followed in the innumerable examples Acheson presents? Informal conversation with Churchill and Bevin, luncheons with Adenauer, his position as the ""rear echelon"" to Marshall, countless anecdotal situations lived behind locked doors, reveal the character, thinking and personalities of the men who literally shaped world events. Although more favorably disposed to his subjects than not, his sketches however rosyhued at times are important reading for well informed Americans.