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The Executive Editor for Foreign News on the New York Herald-Tribune has spent many years as a reporter in Eastern Europe. This is the fruit of those years. He gives an impressionistic report on the Russian take-over of Eastern Europe. He carries his account through the Yugoslav ""heresy"", the Hungarian Revolution, the beginnings of a more independent position in Poland, and the Berlin crisis in its latest phase. He feels that we cannot, morally, abandon Eastern Europe and the peoples who were robbed of their political choice. Yet at no points are the dynamics of the Russian usurpation or the background of Balkan divisions (which in part, made possible their getting away wit it) adequately drawn. Mr. Freidin does not really attempt to give the general reader the balanced and detailed account he needs. He confines himself, apart form a sometimes grotesquely simplified exposition of events, to his own experiences as a reporter for the fifteen years following the war's end, which inevitably limits the timeliness. Many of his conversations with the great and small are interesting, especially as he has hobnobbed with a good many important political figures in Eastern Europe, both prior to the Communist era and after. But there is simply not enough meat here for someone who wants to know what, in retrospect, happened, and what we can now do about it. Yet by attempting something more than a reporter's reminiscence, Mr. Freidin would seem to be obligated to supply it.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1962
Publisher: Scribner