In This Review

The New Russians
The New Russians
By Hedrick Smith
Random House, 1990, 656 pp

Smith's new Russians differ from the Russians of his earlier book based on his experience as a correspondent for The New York Times in the 1970s. Covering the same beat in nine visits since 1988, he found the scene transformed, especially by the freedom of people to speak their minds. What the book adds to the many others written in the past few years is the detailed reporting of conversations, incidents, jokes-all illustrative of the currents of change as well as the fact that the new Russians are still old Russians in many ways, making reform difficult to implement. Smith is a veteran observer, and his book is an honest and perceptive picture of Soviet politics and society after five years of Gorbachev.