A foreign policy polemic by a former State Department undersecretary and UN ambassador, now an international banker and eminent elder statesman. The target of the book is Henry Kissinger's ""puckish delight in ephemeral mischief"" and ""addiction to the tactical opportunity."" The State Department's diplomatic unilateralism ""alienates our friends without taming our enemies."" The result is ""a policy strictly for the short term."" Ball, a professed cold warrior, defends 1962 Cuban brinksmanship and advocates intimidating the Soviets with the threat to end dÃ‰tente. However, he stops short of approving intervention in Angola or Rhodesia and insists that the US failed to understand the morale of the Vietnamese peasantry. Ball wants to plane the rough edges of American diplomacy, treating our European and Japanese allies more gently. While he is concerned with ""overpopulation"" to the point of claustrophobia, he favors a ""soft"" approach to the Third World, involving support of commodity prices. In a final series of jabs against Kissinger, Ball demands a permanent settlement in the Middle East, the use of ""expert"" (read non-Kissingerian) opinion in State Department deliberations, the reorganization of the CIA into a small White House-based elite, and the dismantling of Kissinger-oriented think tanks like RAND. Reminiscent of the worldly Achesonians remonstrating against the rollback enthusiasts in an earlier period, the book is essential for an up-to-date reading of the US factional map.