The relevance of Joseph Conrad to the man of the 1960's is the real theme of these perceptive chapters on the life and work of this writer. So many books have been written about Conrad, that the last word might seem to have been said. But probably never before has Conrad's long, almost prophetic, view been stressed as it is here. Gurko states that after Conrad died in 1924, his ""critical reputation and the popularity of his novels began to decline sharply"", where they remained through the '30's, '40's and '50's. But anyone who takes a sharp look at The Outcast of the Islands (Southeast Asia), Heart of Darkness (the Congo), Nostromo (Latin America) and above all Under Western Eyes (a most devastating revelation of the hollowness of Russian ideologies), cannot help but be struck how apt and significant these works are. On any count, whether as literary criticism or as intelligent relation of Conrad's life to his achievement, this is a sound study and an interesting one with many implications for modern readers.