Jimmy Carter became president intending to pull American troops out of South Korea and push its authoritarian government toward genuine democracy. He failed on both counts. Indeed, the United States is often accused of complicity in the brutal 1980 suppression of a student uprising at Kwangju. Gleysteen, Carter's ambassador to South Korea, has now written a concise and lucid account that is rich with lessons about U.S. relations with imperfect partners. Although he criticizes Carter and some of his colleagues on the withdrawal issue, he defends the administration's effort on human rights. Contemporary Korea watchers may especially enjoy reading the chapter on the man who became South Korea's president in 1997, aptly entitled "The American Effort to Save Kim Dae Jung's Life." A valuable memoir, written with care.