Sixteen-year-old Richard Pipes escaped from Nazi-occupied Warsaw with his family in October 1939. Their flight took them to the United States by way of Italy, and Pipes went on to earn a college degree, join the U.S. Air Corps, serve as professor of Russian history at Harvard for nearly forty years, and become adviser to President Reagan on Soviet and Eastern European affairs. In this engrossing book, the eminent historian remembers the events of his own remarkable life as well as the unfolding of some of the twentieth century's most extraordinary political events.
From his youthful memories of bombs falling on Warsaw to his recollections of the conflicts inside the Reagan administration over American policies toward the USSR, Pipes offers penetrating observations as well as fascinating portraits of such cultural and political figures as Isaiah Berlin, Ronald Reagan, and Alexander Haig. Perhaps most interesting of all, Pipes depicts his evolution as a historian and his understanding of how history is witnessed and how it is recorded.