National Affairs: Dear Joe

To Harold Stassen, who had chatted with Joe Stalin in the Kremlin back in 1947, it seemed a good time for another talk. He sent the Soviet embassy in Washington a letter to be delivered to the Russian dictator. It began: "It is now three and one half years since I talked with you . . . I write to you. . . in the interest of world peace and the progress of mankind."

With this, Stassen gave Stalin the back of his hand for several long paragraphs, making it clear that Stassen had been right and the Premier dead wrong on...