In the five years after World War II American foreign relations went through major changes. How these changes were reflected in the work of the Council on Foreign Relations and the views of some of its prominent members are well set out in this detailed study by a German scholar who has dug deeply into the archives of the Council and many other primary sources. As background he tells the Council's history and shows how its wartime studies laid a foundation for thinking about the postwar world. One chapter analyzes the private efforts to promote the Marshall Plan in which some Council members played a large part. Dr. Wala is too good a historian to accept conspiratorial views about the Council's part in all these events, and makes his own balanced assessment of its influence. Not everyone will agree with his judgment about the limits on the activities of this "idea factory," but his case is well made and well expressed.