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Soviet Realities: Culture and Politics from Stalin to Gorbachev
In this, the third volume of collected essays by one of the most eminent students of East and West Europe, Walter Laqueur reveals a particularly deft touch at weaving the cultural and the political into a seamless whole. His familiarity with Soviet life and the Russian language gives him a unique insider's position in examining the Soviet Union and its...
In this, the third volume of collected essays by one of the most eminent students of East and West Europe, Walter Laqueur reveals a particularly deft touch at weaving the cultural and the political into a seamless whole. His familiarity with Soviet life and the Russian language gives him a unique insider's position in examining the Soviet Union and its remarkable changes in the decade of the 1980s. In chapters on glasnost and its limits to the Soviet Union in the 1990s, the reader is given a careful perspective on continuities as well as discontinuities in Soviet politics. And in studies of Nikolai Skoblin, Julian Semynov-with whom his western counterpart, John Le Carre is compared in a fine coupling-we are given a sense of the darker side of things Soviet. Soviet Realities reveals Laqueur's appreciation of the painful dialectic inherent in the grand sweet of Soviet life: underneath the faade of an imposed monolith are the continuing struggles between Left and Right, reformers and renegades, terrorists and legalists. And in his opening chapter, the author links these disparate strands together in a modest and self-critical appraisal. This is a volume deserving of an audience far beyond "Kremlinologists" or specialists in foreign affairs. In its sense of the Soviet whole, it will be of interest to all citizens concerned with the present and future of Soviet-American relations.
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