Farewell Perestroika

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Farewell Perestroika

By Boris Kagarlitsky
Verso, 1990
217 pp. $45.00
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Kagarlitsky's is a fiercely independent voice amid the confusion attending the "democratization" of the Soviet Union. Active in the "popular front" movement, he is an enemy of the old Stalinist order but also totally skeptical of the Gorbachev reforms and contemptuous of the nostrums of the liberals who want to introduce a Western-style market economy. His provocative book is a running account, often as eyewitness or participant, of dramatic developments in 1988-89 in Moscow and the constituent republics, combining a description of events, many of which "fired our imaginations but changed nothing in our lives," with pointed opinions of the main actors. Perestroika, he concludes, is in its death agony, but the future, which will depend on the working class, is not without hope.

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