Evident to anyone concerned who has followed the issues pregnant in the down of Britain's bid for membership in the European Common Market is the immediate importance of any authoritative book on the subject. Dr. Birrenbach is one of the most informed Europeans on the questions involved in Atlantic unity, and as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Parliament, he speaks for central European opinion with rather extraordinary objectivity. This book- as Christian Herter says in his introduction- is ""a comprehensive and compact survey of the problems"", and as such should serve as a layman's textbook to constructive political compromise. Birrenbach has- to a degree not evident in other current books on the subject- emphasized the dangers, the complications, the sacrifices necessary to arrive at the imperative goal of a true Atlantic Community. He explores various facets:- economic, political, military and cultural. He advances some cogent arguments to inform his readers and offers some solutions, compromises to be sure, but challenging. This reader-against a background of several other books on phases of the subject-still feels that Dr. Birrenbach is writing for the relatively informed layman and the specialist. He takes for granted more background understanding than the average daily newspaper reader brings to his pages, for he does not chart the various steps, nor even provide a glossary to the alphabetical array of agencies. Possibly the publisher will supply this need for the semi-initiated. The author supplies the substance of the argument in persuasive fashion.