A perceptive and illuminating historical analysis developing the theme that since 1947 U.S. policy has shifted between (and sometimes combined) a "symmetrical" response to perceived Soviet expansion everywhere, and an "asymmetrical" response which stresses the priority of certain regions and the wisdom of dealing from strength. The author argues that an Administration's "perception of means available . . . appears to be the single most decisive determinant of national strategy." An important book, both for understanding history and for thinking about the present and the future.