Strictly for the politically literate. Harrison has cut by two-thirds some 300,000 words of the transcript of the Conference on India and the U.S. held in Washington last year. But there is still a great deal left of speeches, panel discussions and dialogues featuring such personages as Averell Harriman, Leon H. Keyserling, Chester Bowles, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Lawrence E. Spivak, Hubert Humphrey, Frank Moraes and many, many others. There were 88 participants in all. In a trenchant introduction, Harrison argues that U.S. aid to India has been ineffective, not so much because such a great deal has gone to the private sector of the economy, but because none has gone to the public section. The U.S.S.R., naturally, has concentrated on big publicly-owned projects, like steel mills, that have an obvious impact on the Indian mind. Harrison makes a seldom-raised point that economic aid in some Asian and African countries goes almost exclusively to the caste or sect that controls the mercantile establishments, to the accompanying resentment of the rest of the population. India and its problems are so huge, the author maintains, that, ironically, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. may find themselves reluctant allies, along with West Germany, Britain and Japan in solving its problems - if they can be solved. Harrison quotes a wag who noted that the best way to really fix the Russians would be to let them have India.