The Post-Soviet Nations: Perspectives on the Demise of the USSR

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The Post-Soviet Nations: Perspectives on the Demise of the USSR

Edited by Alexander J. Motyl
Columbia University Press, 1992
322 pp. $34.50
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Here, stellar authors seek to explain different dimensions of the flawed Soviet approach to ethnicity, and half succeed. For most of them, the effort seems less than whole-hearted but, because these are bright and able students of the subject, they have worthwhile things to say about everything from the ideological roots of the problem to the varying role of the kgb in dealing with it. The volume is further marred by a schizophrenia: the editor and three of the ten authors devote themselves to reflections on the meaning of the new nations, nationalism and nationalities for Western studies of the region, while the remaining authors seem not to have this issue in mind as they go about their analytical tasks. But on either side of this schizophrenia the reader will find stimulating preliminary thoughts.