After studying Soviet military doctrine, Garthoff became a cold warrior for the United States. At the CIA and the Pentagon from 1957 to 1961, and then at the State Department from 1961 through 1979, he became indispensable in government debates and negotiations over nuclear arms control and the U.S.-Soviet strategic balance. By the end of the 1970s, however, he was identified as a dove who thought Soviet intentions were primarily defensive and misunderstood; he went so far as to argue that American overreaction had aggravated the Cold War. Since then, Garthoff has become a Cold War chronicler and now turns his historical lens upon himself. The book is less valuable for the events of those years, which Garthoff has already covered, but more interesting for its detached reflections on U.S. government workings during that time. Whether or not readers agree with Garthoff's interpretations of the Cold War, they must acknowledge not only the essential work he has produced but his conscientious approach to evidence and argument -- which continues to set an honorable and challenging example for his peers.