Although discursive and difficult to read, this book offers an important historical perspective on Russia's relations with both China and Japan. The author believes that as China and Japan grow in power, both will "increasingly feel their position as the territorial victims of Russian infringement on their soil, whether it be on the borders of Manchuria, Mongolia, Sinkiang, or in the Southern Kuriles or Sakhalin, which the Japanese knew much earlier as Karafuto." There are some interesting passages on Russia's demographic disadvantages vis-à-vis China: the Russians will be unable to assimilate the Turkoman and Mongol inhabitants of Siberia because of the scarcity of immigrants from European Russia; the Chinese, on the other hand, will be able to effectively sinicize Inner Mongolia and Manchuria. Thus, Russia is bound to feel insecure in thinly populated Siberia. At a time when a Sino-Soviet détente is in the making, this book implies that, over the longer run, such a détente can be only tactical in nature.