I must have been born pen in hand,"" Robert Cutler says early on in his reminiscences. Until he was twenty-seven he considered himself a writer; then he proceeded to the law and following that a career that brought him distinction as a banker, humanitarian, and public servant. In World War II he served under Stimson, Forrestal and General Marshall; he campaigned with Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956, served under him as his Special Assistant for National Security Affairs and later as the Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank. A General with three youthful novels to his name, he wields a pen with vigor and his book has all the emotional intensity and driving energy that has given him ""no time for rest"" in a lifetime devoted to work. It reads without pause, with constant interest, as much for the earlier, more personal years as for the ones which have more public import: and which focus on Ike, the man and the president (""He made me want to do the better thing""). His closeness to the President and his participation in the Administration permits him to provide a revealing insider's view of both Eisenhower and his Administration, and he makes a very positive case for Eisenhower's ""balanced policy."" Essential reading on the Eisenhower years, this is also essentially good reading, good autobiography. Like its author, it will doubtless receive the attention it deserves.