This is a journalistic tour de force comparable to Hedrick Smith's The Russians. The author, fluent in Chinese and Russian, has spent many years in both countries and therefore combines a knowledge of Chinese culture and of communist systems. He is also perceptive and balanced in his judgments, and he writes very well. The book concludes with some solid pages on foreign policy. "Many Americans worry that in extending . . . aid to China, the West may be breeding a new monster which, once strong, will be no less aggressive than the Soviet Union. . . . What American statesmen have to ponder is whether China is an asset or a liability in the confrontation with the Soviet Union. Obviously, it is better if she is anti-Soviet, even fiercely so; but to side with her too obviously or sell her arms is likely to stall efforts for détente with the Soviet Union."