Bracket this with the forthcoming Memories of Field Marshal Montgomery (see p. 684) and together they make a peculiarly significant analysis of the British side of World War II. Kennedy and Montgomery were at one in their admiration for Alan- brooke; in their appreciation of Churchill's greatness- and the difficulties of working with him; both felt that Eisenhower's greatest contribution lay in his ability to keep men in balance- and his least in strategic or actical understanding. In the main they agreed about the mistakes in the war's operation. But where Montgomery writes vividly and in very human terms of the fighting of the war, Kennedy writes almost too objectively of the arguments that went on behind the scenes in General Staff, and the decisions laboriously arrived at, often with grave misgivings. It is a serious and important book about the great war decisions and the men who made them. It is frank as a close-up view can be -- and one finishes with a deepened recognition of the terrific burden that was shouldered by the men in highest places- and the heartbreak of realization of human fallacies. Not a book likely to reach the man in the street:- it is too British in the assumption that the pattern of war as happened is still vivid, and in the inevitable focus on British officers, but for the student of war and its planning, it is a vital contribution.