As with his earlier writings, you can count on Jerry F. Hough to come up with original and controversial conclusions. Time and again in this book he questions the conventional wisdom of many "Western observers" and then proceeds to state his own contrary views. In the process he manages to cover the course of Soviet history from the standpoint of where power lay and how it was exercised, against the background of social and generational change over the years. He makes a particular point of pressures, including those of the bureaucrats, which are driving Gorbachev in the direction of radical reform. The book is more about Russia than about "Russia and the West," but Hough sees the direction of Soviet foreign policy as organically linked to changes at home, and his views are relevant to the ongoing debate in the West about policy toward the U.S.S.R.