This is an excellent compilation and analysis of the attitudes of American administrations since Eisenhower toward détente. The centerpiece is the Nixon-Kissinger period, when détente flourished. In the Carter years it ended in deep disappointment with the U.S.S.R. Most interesting, however, is a brief chapter that shows Reagan's transformation from a dedicated opponent of détente to a man who left office singing its praises, to the dismay of his conservative supporters. The author's net judgment is that détente was only a limited success, but probably necessary.