This is not a very complimentary biography; the severest detractors of our ex-Secretary of State -- and one assumes there are a great many of these -- should find it excellent reading indeed. As subtitled, the ""Theory and Practice of His Diplomacy,"" this deals mainly with the four critical months of 1956; it is much more slanted towards the practice than the theory of the man whom Mr. Finer believes was disingenuous, owardly, and ungrateful. The central thesis here, in a very detailed expose, -- is that our allies, England and France, had every right to expect our support in their abortive move to make the ""desperado"" Nasser ""disgorge"" the Canal. Practically everyone who had anything at all to do with this notable crisis has been conferred with at length; there is not going to be a more solidly based recreation of the events until the State Department chooses to release the relevant documents. But despite the thoroughness, readers would perhaps do well to seek more balance and background in a book like Empire by Treaty, page 351.