In This Review In This Review
Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy that Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union
By Peter Schweizer
The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994, 300 pp.
Peter Schweizer, author of a previous book on industrial espionage, assigns credit for victory in the Cold War to CIA Director William Casey, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and Reagan himself. In Schweizer's opinion these three rejected the view of every president from Truman to Carter (that sooner or later the Soviet Union would implode if it were contained) and acted on the assumption that the system was vulnerable to military, economic and covert pressure in its satellite nations and its heart.
The activist policy of the Reagan administration worked brilliantly, according to Schweizer, and helped cause the demise of the Soviet Union. Actually, there is a great deal more to the Soviet collapse than Schweizer recognizes, and in any case it is difficult to take seriously a book as badly written as this one. Schweizer puts words into peoples' mouths and thoughts into their minds; he makes up quotes (and attempts to get away with it by using personal pronouns and present tense but without quotation marks; it is really quite shocking that his editor let such usages stand). He has singular verbs with plural nouns, and vice versa. There are three cliches per page, sometimes per paragraph. The book is consistently redundant and badly out of balance. Not recommended, even for the staunchest Reagan supporter.
Source URL: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/capsule-review/1994-07-01/victory-reagan-administrations-secret-strategy-hastened-collapse