Mr. Byrnes served as Secretary of State for a year and a half during the first half of Mr. Truman's administration. Though his term was brief, it was packed with important conferences and negotiations: his account begins with Yalta and runs through the Council of Foreign Ministers at New York in December 1946. Thanks to the author's ability to write shorthand, he was able to record in detail events and conversations as they occurred, and he provides us with many revelations, great and small. Before becoming Secretary of State, Mr. Byrnes' experience had been almost wholly in the sphere of domestic politics. He soon found that the store of knowledge he had accumulated and the habit of give-and-take compromise he had developed had not prepared him to deal with Molotov. Yet the story he tells is far from one of unrelieved frustration, and it amply demonstrates his good humor and capacity for hard work.