In This Review

Political Culture And Leadership In Soviet Russia: From Lenin To Gorbachev
Political Culture And Leadership In Soviet Russia: From Lenin To Gorbachev
By Robert C. Tucker
Norton, 1987, 214 pp

Robert C. Tucker, who has devoted a career to the study of Russian politics and ideology-particularly to Stalin and Stalinism-uses the concept of political culture and the theme of interaction among top leadership, party elite and the common people to interpret and explain the evolution of the Soviet system. The individual chapters are previously published essays; their appearance here is not only a convenience to readers but an integral exposition of the author's mature thought. The long final chapter on the Gorbachev effort at reform follows some of the lines of widespread Western analysis but is distinctive on two counts: first, in its historical perspective, reaching back through the Soviet experience to Lenin and the NEP, and also to pre-1917 Russia; and, second, in its attention to changes in the cultural realm as Gorbachev attempts to rally the intelligentsia to his side.