This book makes fascinating reading -- if you can take it. But it is weighted down with facts and figures, so presupposes interest enough in that strange anomaly, the U S S R, to insure concentration to sort out the maze of diplomatic intrigue, treaties and agreements. There is an invaluable Appendix containing actual translations of these ""scraps of paper"" dealt with in the text. The general tenor is rather out of sympathy with the Soviet regime; even more so with the Nazis and with the blundering inefficiences of the democracies. But -- in spite of his approach to Russia, the author of Behind the Urals, gives his readers a vast amount of information which tends to heighten one's respect for Russia,with her handling of problems racial, geographic, psychological; with her preparedness; with her diplomacy. Rewarding reading.