A Letter From The Publisher: Aug. 2, 1963

ANYONE who becomes a Moscow correspondent knows that life will not be all caviar, though sometimes he may be hard put to think of any other advantages to the job. Top Soviet leaders are usually inaccessible, uncommunicative, or both. And even when there are Western sources available too—as for this week's cover story—they sometimes fall into a diplomatic silence. Averell Harriman amiably reminded Moscow newsmen last week that the last diplomat to report to the people before he reported to his President was Jimmy Byrnes, and "he was fired."

Still, TIME'S Moscow correspondent, Israel Shenker, set to work. One night at dinner...

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