Born of American parents in Paris, Curtis Cate was educated in France, England, and the United States. He is the holder of three university degrees - from Harvard (History), the -cole des Langues Orientales, Paris (Russian), and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he read Politics and Economics and studied English and German philosophy with Harry Weldon. After serving as a correspondent in the Middle East, he joined the staff of the Atlantic Monthly, and was for eight years its European Editor in Paris. His published works include three highly acclaimed biographies (of Antoine de Saint-Exup-ry, George Sand, and Andr- Malraux), a harrowing description of Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812, and The Ides of August, which he wrote to condemn the building of the Berlin Wall in August 1961. This is his seventh book.