In This Review

Moscow's Third World Strategy
Moscow's Third World Strategy
By Alvin Z. Rubinstein
Princeton University Press, 1989, 311 pp.
The Limits Of Soviet Power In The Developing World
The Limits Of Soviet Power In The Developing World
Edited by Edward A. Kolodziej and Roger E. Kanet
Johns Hopkins, 1989, 531 pp.

These books overlap, complement one another and sometimes clash; both have important things to say about Soviet policy in the Third World and its place in East-West relations. The Kolodziej/Kanet approach tends toward the encyclopedic, with well-qualified specialists writing up-to-date studies on individual countries and regions. The emphasis is on the "limits" indicated by the title and underlined by the editors in their introductory and concluding chapters. Rubinstein's book is written with a sure touch and mastery of the material, which he organizes according to different aspects of Soviet policy (involvement, intervention, support of liberation movements, and so on) rather than geographically. He wisely concentrates on interpreting policy through actions rather than poring over the voluminous Soviet literature on trends in Third World societies, which he regards as largely post-facto rationalization. He gives the Soviets much credit-too much-for the consistency and past success of their strategy and expects more of the same in the future.