This volume of Lowell Lectures should not escape the attention of those interested in the Russian scene. The author's analysis is distinguished from many other books on Russia by the fact that it is based on a sound knowledge of Russian history as well as upon years of direct observation and extensive travel. This comes out clearly enough in the first lectures, in which the author dsicusses the land and people, examines the economic control of the old régime and reviews the different revolutionary currents which went to produce the great overturn. Other chapters deal in considerable detail with the political and economic machinery of the Soviet system, and more particularly with the five year plan in its economic and human implications. On all these matters the author speaks with real knowledge, and with moderation and directness. Special attention should be called to the last lecture, in which the Russian and American systems, socialist and capitalist, are placed in juxtaposition and the possibility of the Far East becoming the great economic battleground of the two conflicting orders is discussed. The analysis of this point is very stimulating and will repay careful reading by those who are inclined to look beyond the day-by-day events, however spectacular.
Get the best of Foreign Affairs' book reviews delivered to you.