The Drama of the Soviet 1960s: A Lost Reform
By Alexander Yanov
Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1984, 141 pp.
Alexander Yanov can be counted on for stimulating interpretations of the Soviet scene which often run beyond, or counter to, the conclusions of those whom he calls the conventional Sovietologists. In this instance, illustrating his theory of the pendulum-swing of reform and counterreform in Russian and Soviet history, he describes the struggle for reform in agriculture, in which he was directly involved, in the early 1960s. After gathering steam with Khrushchev's support, it foundered on the opposition of Stalinist party cadres, unfavorable international conditions, and the removal of the key reformer, Khrushchev himself. This is a persuasive book, although there is still plenty of room for questioning and debate, not least on Khrushchev and his place in history.