Radvanyi, who was head of the Hungarian legation in Washington from 1962 until his defection to the United States in 1967, offers ""inside information"" on Communist diplomacy relating to the Vietnam War. The problem is that he was not highly enough placed to know the full meaning of the events of which he has first-hand knowledge. He became involved in Hungarian Foreign Minister JÃ¡nos PÃ‰ter's 1965-66 and 1966-67 attempts to deceive the State Department into believing that Hanoi wanted peace talks. Although this is his feature story, Radvanyi was and remains uncertain about the Soviet role in these efforts. Another kind of drawback is Radvanyi's ambitious attempt to provide a comprehensive narrative of Vietnam diplomacy although more often than not he has little or no significant new information. Revealing details about Communist leaders and the workings of Soviet-bloc bureaucracies may be of some interest to specialists but clumsy writing will further deter prospective general readers.