If the average American's ignorance of Canadian political realities is all but total, what can be said for his ignorance concerning the man who recently became the fourteenth prime minister of his next-door, but misunderstood and mostly neglected neighbor? In attempting to write a sympathetic but also candid biography of Lester Pearson, Mr. Beal has come up against this obstacle time and time again. So often, in ying to make a fairly simple point just in passing, he finds it necessary to explain to much that is, or should be, elementary, that most readers will find themselves becoming uncomfortable---after all, it's their fault, not Mr. Beal's. And as if this ere not enough, there is one other difficulty: Pearson may be a fine man and a potentially great leader of his country as well as of his Liberal Party, but in point of fact, is is just not either a highly colored or a dramatically simple personality. Perhaps the greatest satisfaction Mr. Beal could have earned here was the knowledge that he had ome past both handicaps with a book which is readable, useful, and not too long. In our opinion he has done just that.