The first half of the book reproduces, with some revisions, a study published a decade ago; the second half is new, covering the last ten years of the Brezhnev era. Edmonds, a former British diplomat, writes from a long and deep acquaintance with his subject, although his study has the gaps and limitations which plague all Western attempts to penetrate the mysteries of Soviet motivation and strategy. He does not hesitate to give informed comment of his own, both on Soviet and on Western policy, which he would like to see get back on the track of détente.
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