In This Review

From Brezhnev to Gorbachev: Domestic Affairs and Soviet Foreign Policy
From Brezhnev to Gorbachev: Domestic Affairs and Soviet Foreign Policy
Edited by Hans-Joachim Veen
Berg, 1987, 378 pp
From Brezhnev to Gorbachev: Infighting in the Kremlin
From Brezhnev to Gorbachev: Infighting in the Kremlin
By Baruch A. Hazan
Westview Press, 1987, 260 pp

The same title can serve quite different approaches to Soviet developments of the past few years. Hazan's book sticks closely to power politics at the top as the party and state made the transitions, first from Brezhnev to Andropov, then to Chernenko, then to Gorbachev. It is based on the public sources, which leave many questions unresolved, but it is still Sovietology at a fairly high level of competence. The volume edited by Veen is the product of a conference of German and American experts held in 1984, and it was published in German that year. This revised edition takes some account of more recent events, but most of the contributions speak of Chernenko's policies and prospects in the present tense. Discussing in turn the Soviet Union's economy, its culture and society, and its political power, the papers speak pointedly to the major issue of change and reform, although they are obviously dated and often too brief to get very far into the subject at hand.