In This Review

The Future Of The Soviet Empire
The Future Of The Soviet Empire
Edited by Henry S. Rowen and Charles Wolf, Jr.
St. Martin's, 1988, 346 pp.

The "empire" includes the inner core (U.S.S.R.), the contiguous bloc (Eastern Europe), and the assorted and more remote associates and dependencies (Cuba, Vietnam, Angola, Ethiopia and others). To assess the strengths, weaknesses and prospects of this aggregation of territories is a daunting task which only the most ambitious or foolhardy would undertake; in this case the ambition of the editors and authors is for the most part justified by the results. The chapters on the U.S.S.R. itself follow the lines of many other Western assessments but are done with exemplary professional competence. Of possibly greater interest are the chapters on the "extended empire" in the Third World, its economic and other costs, and the possibilities of Soviet retraction or retreat.