A flood of books purporting to simplify the intricacies of the Common Market, NATO, the Atlantic Community -- to present the facts for the man in the street -- have lulled us into a sense of complacency and acceptance. This book leaves one overwhelmingly aware of the complexities, the difficulties, the hurdles still to be taken -- but with a firm conviction that in the Atlantic Community, approached through the strengthening and widening of NATO, lies the one hope of meeting the menace of Communism. The political history of NATO, the economic base of the powers that comprise it, the relations to the EEC, and the importance that it grow fast enough to provide the one vehicle capable of action towards the political integration of the allies are dominant ideas. The central thesis is that the meaning of military-technological change and of world conflict argues for closer political integration of the Atlantic Community and the creation of the appropriate political institutions. The problems are complex -- and they are specifically charted throughout; but the basic issues are simple. Ours is the choice- and to lose the chance through procrastination may find us forced to become an isolated fortress state. At times the arguments seem defeatist; the context of American policy falls short of commitment to Atlantic unity while there is inadequate recognition that the dynamism of Communism is far from broken. To break it demands a united front. We have the machinery; the trends of opinion in the Atlantic world begin to recognize the broader nationalism based on regional cultural unity; the leaders are expressing the desire to attain the vision. But still there is the credulity of the West lulled by the hoax of peaceful co-existence and by internal dissensions. Not easy reading on any level, but a salutary experience that shocks while it informs and exhorts.