History,"" the author remarks in his introduction to this volume, ""resembles the earnest reminiscences of a troupe of tumblers."" The relationships of the U.S., the U.S.S.R., and Japan have turned many cartwheels and somersaults during this century. Mr. Feis' narrative is concerned with the diplomatic paper game between the U.S. and the Soviet Union for the right to control Japanese policies throughout the occupation period, from 1945 to 1952. To this end he has discussed (and included as appendices) such official documents as the Cairo and Yalta Agreements, the Potsdam Declaration, General MacArthur's General Order No. 1, and the foreign minister's statement providing for the creation of a Far Eastern Comission and Allied Council for occupied Japan. He has also had to reassess the value of the United States' dramatic ace-in-the-hole, the atomic bomb, and the complicated origins of the Korean War. The Americans seem to have won this round with their stated goal of a democratic, peaceful and independent Japan. But the games go on, and Soviet-Japanese agreement concluded by Andrei Gromyko in August 1966 could be said to have initiated a new shuffle, and perhaps a new deck of cards. This is careful, thorough historical analysis, and if little of the material is original, the insights provided are both sound and useful.