This is the sort of short history that one would like to see more of. Mr. Warth, an authority on Russian history and Soviet affairs, succeeds in describing both the wood and the trees of his subject. His book spans the whole range of Soviet foreign policy from the revolutionary events of 1917 to the latest developments in the cold war. The author seeks an answer to the question. ""How relevant is Marxist-Leninist ideology, and to what extent are the Soviets following in the footsteps of the Tzars?"" The first issue of foreign policy discussed by Mr. Warth is the issue of war or peace with Germany in 1917. It evoked a searching conflict between ideology and the short-run requirements of Soviet Internal power, which was decided in favor of the latter. The author finds that this decision foreshadowed much of future Soviet policy; he points out that the Kremlin's imperialist ventures in Eastern Europe and Asia were in reality carried out in the best tradition of Russian nationalism. Soviet Russia emerges as a country which is prepared to exploit fully any possibility for expanding its power as the world scene may offer but which is limited consciously in its pursuit of power by the desire to avoid action which would pose a direct threat to Russia's development. There are some notable gaps in Mr. Warth's study--for example, the political element in foreign policy; but there is a great deal of useful information in this book that will interest the general reader as well as the student of international relations.