A sympathetic, readable compilation of facts about life in the U.S.S.R., this adds up to a complete view of the domestic life of a nation. It does not involve itself with foreign policy or the carrying out of that policy. Rather, Mr. Mandel writes of the make-up of the U.S.S.R. (only one half of the population is Russian), describes the feudal society from which the 1905 and 1917 revolutions and the subsequent government sprang; reviews the history of Russia briefly to the present. With this orientation, he goes into all the elements that make up the society, from the actual, practical functioning of the government in relation to the people, who are as it were, overseen on all levels by it. Types of education, the place of trade unions, the meaning of elections, job training, finding and recompense, status of the professions, the arts, women, the balance between industrial and agricultural aspects of the society, are all covered. There emerges a composite picture of a developing society, in which skilled manpower is still at a premium; a nation which wants its place in the sun (to outstrip the West by 1980 in domestic goods), which knows war and wishes to avoid it. A warm remove from the cold war.