Making use of archival material now available in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia as well as interviews with Alexander Dubcek and other principals, Valenta has added two chapters to his well-received original study of the Soviet decision to crush the Czech reform of 1968. He finds in these materials-the most important of which are summaries of the Dresden, Moscow, Cierna and Yalta meetings-vindication of his initial assessment: that the Soviet leadership hesitated to unleash military intervention until the last minute, that János Kádár, alone among Warsaw Pact leaders, refused to see the Prague Spring as a "counterrevolution" deserving of suppression, and that an unseemly group of hard-liners in Berlin, Prague and Moscow finally drove the decision. Still, as Valenta acknowledges, many key questions will remain unanswered until the Soviet archives tell the story (one hopes) they contain.
Get the best of Foreign Affairs' book reviews delivered to you.
More Reviews on Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Republics From This Issue