THIS is the story of the prelude to conflict between America and Japan, as seen by an American who was for many years an adviser to the Japanese Embassy in Washington. Mr. Moore was intimately acquainted with the three last Japanese Ambassadors to the United States, Saito, Horinouchi, and Nomura, and also with Japan’s truculent American-educated diplomat, Yosuke Matsuoka. Mr. Moore attributeto Matsuoka the wisecrack that Ihr Western powers had taught the Japanese the game of poker, but that after acquiring most of the chips they pronounced the game immoral and took up contract bridge. The author gives a sympathetic picture of the last Japanese Ambassador, Admiral Nomura, clutching at every straw for a settlement, but falling back on his premonition: “War between Japan and the United States will be a crime. But that crime will be committed.” He acquits Nomura of treacherous advance knowledge of the stroke at Pearl Harbor, but is more doubtful about the Japanese special envoy, Kurusu, so ineptly nicknamed a “trouble-shooter” in many American newspaper headlines. Mr. Moore expresses the belief that Japan must and can be defeated; that after Hitler has been crushed in Europe, the long Japanese lines of communication will prove vulnerable to successful attack. W. H. C.