Books: Adventure in Aspidistraism

POSTMARKED Moscow (278 pp.)—Lydia Kirk—Scribner ($3).

There have been plenty of heavy books —long on thesis and short on anecdote—about the Soviet Union. Postmarked Moscow, by the wife of the recent (1949-51) U.S. Ambassador, Admiral Alan G. Kirk, reverses the recipe and thereby produces some pretty good summer reading. Lydia Kirk's book is based on letters she wrote from Moscow; they reflect about as much of ordinary Russian life as the chandeliers in the U.S. embassy, yet by the same token they often catch fascinating flashes of diplomatic ado and occasional deeper gleams of humor and of terror.

The Wriggle Method. Spaso House,...

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