Twenty one years in the Near East, thirteen of them as head of the Near East Foundation in Athens, have equipped the author for writing this book which emerges as the most revealing record of the approach of war to the Balkans, between 1934 and the departure of the Americans in August 1941. In a sense, this journal can be freer, more personal, than any diplomat's story can be. It is human in its sympathy and appreciation rather than in being a picture of person experience. Keenly observant, perceptive, and in the confidence of high and low alike, Mr. Archer has given the best closeup of those years -- in Greece -- in Albania -- that I have read. He the sense of drama and adventure of a St John or a Gallagher, but his book serves a different purpose; he does for Greece, its government, its people, what Davies did for Russia. An important book.