In time, the U.P.'s Packards scooped the A.P.'s Richard Massock with Balcony Empire, the first book recently to give a complete picture of inside Italy. In merit, there is little to choose between the two; Massock is an objective, alert commentator; his material parallels that of the Packards very closely. The Packards give a little more of the actual military campaigns which they covered; Massock gives more of the internal moves behind them. Mussolini's seizure of power; his first bid for Empire with Ethiopia; Spain and the collaboration with Hitler which was the beginning of a partnership in which Mussolini grew more and more silent, afraid to assert his demands, afraid to refuse to follow; the Albanian grabs Ciano's war in Greece --victory in name only; finally the Nazi occupation of Italy which brought increased hatred toward the Germans, increased apathy toward war, lowered morale, with bootlegging, hoarding prevalent. First class report -- informative, alive.