In This Review

Brezhnev: Soviet Politician
Brezhnev: Soviet Politician
By Paul J. Murphy
McFarland, 1981, 373 pp.

Despite the obstacles to writing an unauthorized biography of a living Soviet statesman (no access to the subject, his papers, or the archives of government or party), Paul Murphy has done a credible and creditable job. He has to go beyond the evidence at times-the word "probably" appears frequently-but he avoids Kremlinological gymnastics. Brezhnev comes through as a master at manipulating the levers of power on the way up and at the top, but the human personality, if there be one, scarcely emerges.