A Letter From The Publisher: Jun. 25, 1984

Since Andrei Gromyko first appeared on the world scene as Soviet Ambassador to the U.S. during World War II, three generations of TIME correspondents have dogged the footsteps of this taciturn, publicity-shy diplomat. In Washington, at the United Nations and during almost every East-West crisis, reporters have waited, usually in vain, for the impenetrable Gromyko mask to slip.

TIME'S current practitioners of the art of Kremlin watching are as persistent, and sometimes as frustrated, as their predecessors. Diplomatic Correspondent Strobe Talbott, whose behind-the-scenes narrative of the Reagan Administration's conduct of the Strategic Arms...

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