Books: The Central Figure

THE HINGE OF FATE (1,000 pp.)—Winston S. Churchill—Houqhton Mifflin ($6).

The conferences in the Kremlin during those August days in 1942 were sharp and exhausting. Winston Churchill's mission was to explain to Stalin why the cross-Channel invasion would have to be delayed. By turns Stalin was truculent, sardonic, accusing; Churchill direct, blunt, vehement. At last the sessions ended in common understanding, if not complete agreement, and Stalin suggested a "few drinks" in his apartment in the Kremlin. Certainly, said Winston Churchill.

Stalin led the way, and after "many passages and rooms" and some distance in the open air, they got to his rooms,...

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