Fundamental factors influencing international politics today would seem a far wider scope than the limitations of a single volume would provide. But Fischer's wide knowledge added to his special and intensive familiarity with Russia combine to make him adept at achieving the goal. While recognizing the role the United States has played, in particular through the backing of NATO as a deterrent to war, he does not hesitate to come to grips with our failures, to urge further exploration of the no man's land between containment and hostility, through self-serving unselfishness. In the course of this study, he provides succinct profiles of men and nations, pertinent historical surveys, thoughtful analyses of such disparate worlds as the Soviet, Red China, and their mutual relationship; Europe and the new developments of the Six and the Seven and the Common Market; India and Pakistan; the Arab-Israel tension; the emerging nations of Africa. He explores too the many faces of nationalism, and marshals a cogent plea for internationalism, starting with a united Europe, going on to a federated Africa, and urging a compromise position for the Arab federation and Israel, for India and Pakistan. Sometimes his comments are heartening, i.e. that the ""outlook for disarmament and political settlement should improve"" if only Russia would cease to sow distrust; that Russia and China are out of step and Russia is worried over Chinese communism -- neither can expand at the other's expense and both will come to seek the benefits of cooperation rather than militarism. Again- ""A fully democratic West would crack the Chinese wall of Russian totalitarianism"",- encouraging in view of the steps Europe is taking towards unity, has already taken towards recovery. Science he sees as the agent of internationalism- and urges extending scientific aid and knowledge and know-how. The wise division of foreign aid (that is the distribution by the have nations) could tip the scales against totalitarianism. At present the U.S. brand of self advertising defeats its own ends. We should keep trying to build bridges, to supply trained personnel, to give loans from bank to bank for special projects, not to governments to balance budgets. Here is a constructive, challenging and thoughtful study.