Cyprus is in the news, week in, week out, and few people know anything of its history, of the role Britain has played, of the roots of the problems. Sir Harry Luke, a colonial office administrator, spent more than three decades in Cyprus and writes dryly but authoritatively. ""Cyprus has the distinction of the longest political and cultural history in the British Commonwealth and Empire...."", he claims, and assuredly he had ample opportunity for research and observation in that country. He discusses the recorded political history from its beginning about the middle of the 15th Century BC; he includes the First English Occupation, the Lusignans, the Ottoman hegemony and the Second English Occupation, and concludes with the present day political scene. While the emphasis lies in the area of political recapitulation, glimpses into the cultural life of the Cypriotes are given -- their legends, shrines, sects, dress, etc. Even the identity of Shakespeare's Othelio is explored. Here is a factual book, shy of theses, theoretical organization and style, which may detract from its potential value, on the one side for the historian, on the other for the layman. But it fills an immediate need.