The Demise of the Soviet Union

In This Review

The Demise of the Soviet Union

By G. R. Urban
American University Press, 1993
238 pp. $21.95
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Rather like Bill Moyers' quality television interviews, Urban over the years has published his active dialogues with intellectuals who have been at the center of the East-West struggle. This collection--given false billing as about the demise of the Soviet Union--features Sydney Hook speaking autobiographically from the perspective of someone who once accepted socialism; Hugh Trevor-Roper reflecting on Wilhelmian Germany, the Soviet Union and other empires; Elie Kedourie on nationalism; Otto von Hapsburg on the difference between the Hapsburgs and the Bolsheviks; and Karl Popper jousting against both historical optimism and the predictability of history. Only Adam Ulam and Milovan Djilas are interviewed on the subject. The common thread is that Urban talked to them all during a remarkable period of time, from 1987-91.