In This Review

Federalism And Nationalism: The Struggle For Republican Rights In The U.S.S.R
Federalism And Nationalism: The Struggle For Republican Rights In The U.S.S.R
By Gregory Gleason
Westview Press, 1990, 170 pp

An accurate reading of the current contest over republican rights-including the right of secession-requires a knowledge of Soviet federal development, says the author. He provides it in a constitutional and political study that runs from Lenin to Gorbachev and describes the transformation of an ersatz federal system into new and real balances of power still undergoing change. He stresses the gradual buildup of authority in the local elites and bureaucracies in the union republics, now buttressed by popular movements wholly outside the Communist Party and the traditional order. The book holds no key to the future and may overestimate the adaptability of the system, but it will help one to understand events as they unfold.