Never before or after these post-Napoleonic negotiations in Vienna was diplomacy such a gay and splendid affair. Hilde Spiel's collection of memoirs and letters shows the unofficial side of this Congress, where a bruised and brooding Europe came to collect, and, above all, to divert itself. The editor breaks down the local scenes into pictures of the city, the social events, and the people, with intimate selections notable for their vitality and their surprisingly frequent irony. This would make a fine companion piece to a more theoretical study of the Congress, and as such, includes only a rather awkward attempt to portray the general facts and issues. The book's organization is understandably diffuse, with a rather pronounced fondness for biography. These accounts are more pleasant than strictly informative, in line with the editor's convincingly documented conviction that the Congress itself was more pleasure than business. This was the Congress that danced, and, in a worthwhile sense, this book is the dance-card.