Mr. Warner tells us in his Introduction that he is ""a reporter, not a historian"" and that his book is not an attempt at history, only at ""a general picture of the events leading up to and including the current fighting"" in Southeast Asia. Since the overt, struggle is in South Vietnam at the moment, that is where he concentrates most of his attention with, in less detail, some further examination of ""the related struggle in Laos and the coming struggle in Thailand"". Most Americans have very little grasp of the basic issues of Southeast Asia, and it is small wonder; the political and social complications are dizzying, even when related by so skillful and knowledgeable an observer as Mr. Warner. He has done his best, and by focusing on the central personalities, such as Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem (the Last Confucian of the title) he has succeeded to an astonishing degree in clarifying the main problems to be faced. ""The war is not being won, only lost more slowly, "" he warns us; but ""there are hopeful signs that we have at last learned the lessons of the Indo-China War. We shall deserve what we will surely get if we fail this time to remember them.