When the author married John Wiley in 1934, he was with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. He has since held eight other foreign posts, in Belgium, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Colombia, Portugal, Iran, and Panama. The Wileys were on hand for such critical moments in modern history as the beginning of Stalln's purges, Hitler's seizure of Austria, Russia's swallowing of Latvia and Estonia, and the Japanese invasion of Chine- surely enough first-hand experience for a shelf full of memories. While she is prone to make rather sweeping statements at times--i.e., ""the Russia nervous system (is) lean developed than ours..."" and ""Americans are the most instinctively polite people earth""--Irena Wiley writers with much warmth and charm. The result is a fascinating collection of behind-the-scenes anecdotes and incisive portraits of important and little-known figures--for example, there is a striking depiction of Salazer. The basic fault to find is at the same time a compliment: one only wishes she had written a longer book with more, not less, detail.