In This Review

Confiscated Power: How Soviet Russia Really Works
Confiscated Power: How Soviet Russia Really Works
By Hélène Carrère d'Encausse
Harper, 1982, 401 pp.

This excellent study of Soviet government by a distinguished French scholar describes not only the apparat but the political culture in which it operates. Beginning in 1917, but dealing only summarily with the Lenin and Stalin eras, then more fully with the turbulent Khrushchev era, the author devotes most of her attention to the past two decades. Bureaucratic interests and conflicts have become institutionalized and are managed by the party elite in ways which have brought stability but also immobility, and a question remains whether petrified power will indefinitely contain the forces of a changing society. (The original French edition was published in 1980.)