An anecdotal, episodic highlighting of Russia of the Czars through nostalgic recall on the part of a scion of a noble Russian military family, born and brought up in Georgian Russia. He and his wife, Nina, of royal ancestry, are now American citizens, and Mr. Chavchavadze and his son, David, served in the American Army in the late war, the father as Army interpreter among the Russian D.P.'s in the American zone in Germany after the war. This gives a sort of double sight on Russia, and he has balanced off his charming and often amusing autobiographical and family vignettes with a study of what today's Russian exiles --chiefly in the lower social brackets -- think of Russia today, what their ideas about America and Americans, a distorted portrait. Personally, I think the backward look has qualities that make for pleasant reading, while the contemporary picture adds little or nothing to the whole. The little thumbnail sketches give portraits of famous people, as well as entertaining bits about the author's fabulous family. Recalls somewhat some of Irina Skariatina's early writing.