Reform In Russia And The U.S.S.R; Gorbachev's Agenda

In This Review

Reform In Russia And The U.S.S.R

Edited by Robert O. Crummey
University of Illinois Press, 1989
318 pp. $27.50

Gorbachev's Agenda

Edited by Susan L. Clark
Westview Press, 1989
422 pp. $35.95

Historical perspective, provided by several essays in the volume edited by Robert Crummey on attempts at reform in Russia from Ivan the Terrible to Khrushchev, helps in understanding the factors of traditional political culture that can make or break perestroika. It also illustrates the complexity of the problems and how talented scholars-among them William Taubman, Alexander Yanov, Timothy Colton and Alexander Dallin-can disagree in interpreting them. Among the vital points they address are the relation between foreign policy and domestic reform and the ways in which the West can or should influence the process of change in the U.S.S.R. Gorbachev's Agenda, with a mixed group of American and European contributors, is also broad and generally realistic and cautious in its analysis, if less bold and searching than the volume edited by Crummey. The chapters on foreign policy provide an excellent review of the state of affairs as of early 1989. Both books stand in welcome contrast to the many superficial works on Gorbachev and reform now pouring out of the presses.

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