important book, but it won't be an easy book to sell, even with the enthusiasm of the publishers behind it. I've read no other book that made me feel a close-up, factual awareness of the personalities, the mood, the tempo of life in the Russian lines; all of that has been given to us through correspondents, through brilliant descriptions of the siege of Stalingrad. We've had it in some of the fiction that is coming out of our own fronts (the new Tregaskis, with its blow by blow description of street fighting, Walk in the Sun, etc.) But here, in a powerful story of the days before the great offensive broke which lifted the siege of Stalingrad, one has the feeling of knowing what the Russian weapons, with inadequate reenforcements, could do with simply the overwhelming conviction of rightness and determination to win, to hold until the Volga freezes. The story is chiefly that of Captain Saburov and his associates, and of Anya, the young nurse with whom he fell in love. But the interest in the romance is secondary to the interest in the pattern of Russian army life. For this reason -- and because the picture of the life is the story and not any definite plot -- the book would appeal to men more than to women, and to men who want to know what Russians fighting and loving their motherland are like.