In many ways one of the best general works on contemporary U.S. foreign policy. The American response to the internal foreign conflicts which have spawned most political violence since 1945 is grasped at the ideological level, then related to causal conditions and policy results. The first section offers a brilliant outline of the idea systems of the ""national-security manager"" and the revolutionary; an investigation of myths about international communism and the export of revolution; and a brief history of America's conception of her world role. The second section analyzes U.S. intervention in Greece, Lebanon, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam (in addition to C.I.A. successes and failures in subverting undesired governments), extrapolating patterns of fantasy, expediency and untenable posture. Barnet (a member of the Institute for Policy Studies) displays a praiseworthy style, an old-fashioned capacity for setting forth opposing positions clearly and fairly, and an excellent integration of empirical elements into his study of the role of ideas. The result is a genuinely objective study of processes of change in the Third World, the goals of U.S. policy during the past twenty years, and/or the policymaker's actual premises and official rationalizations.