In This Review

Uncovering Soviet Disasters: Exploring The Limits Of Glasnost
Uncovering Soviet Disasters: Exploring The Limits Of Glasnost
By James F. Oberg
Random House, 1988, 317 pp.

It has been Soviet practice to deny or minimize man-made disasters such as airplane crashes, spacecraft failures, chemical explosions or nuclear accidents. James Oberg, an engineer in the U.S. aerospace program, does an exemplary job of investigating dozens of such events, using a variety of sources and methods to get as close as he can to establishing what the facts were and how the Soviet authorities chose to handle them. He is both thorough and objective. While condemning the policy of secrecy, he sees signs of its easing, and those signs have multiplied since the book went to press.