The White House Years and Years of Upheaval take the story of Henry Kissinger's influence and power from his appointment to the White House staff at the beginning of Richard Nixon's presidency to the period of Nixon's resignation, when Kissinger was Secretary of State. He continued in that office under President Ford until 1977, so his public memoirs are not yet complete. George Ball, though not rising to quite such high office, has had an official career spanning a wide range of years and appointments, and fitting into what has become, in the last two generations, a traditional American pattern of in-and-out' involvement with public office. He is now full of years, and his memoirs, in the sense that he is in retirement, are a full retrospective of his career. The two works offer a fascinating comparison at almost every level, especially as Ball has much to say of the Nixon-Kissinger period, which followed his own period of particular prominence under Kennedy and Johnson. And yet they could hardly be more different. It is not so much that they are chalk and cheese; the contrast between haute cuisine and nouvelle cuisine is, I think, a better analogy, in relation both to the richness of the fare and the size of the portions.