Szulc (The Winds of Revolution, The Twilight of the Tyrants, Fidel, etc.) was the New York Times reporter who broke the Bay of Pigs story. One expects excitement and insights in opening this veteran reporter's ""narrative of things lived, seen, heard, and read and of great events I was privileged to witness in the years since the end of the Second World War."" Instead, in a textbook example of biting off more than one can chew, the chronicle is curiously empty of style and substance. Szulc opts for a pale chronological narrative that hops from one event in the international arena to another, offering a dull recital of familiar postwar turbulence: the atomic bomb, Berlin, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Sino-Soviet split, the Cuban Missile Crisis, terrorism, off embargoes, the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, etc. Rather than deep reflections or colorful takes on the many leaders Szulc has met as a globe-trotting journalist, we are left with unilluminating truisms, such as this one about the 1960's: ""We continue ignorant of the dark forces that were at work in these years that so deeply wounded the soul of this nation."" (One exception is Szulc's coverage of the role of war in developing technology.) Read charitably, Szulc's narrative is journalism written on the fly, a well. intentioned exercise that suffers from its author's apparent lack of time for sober analysis. It can also be viewed as a disappointing rehash.