In This Review

Dilemmas of Independence: Ukraine after Totalitarianism
Dilemmas of Independence: Ukraine after Totalitarianism
By Alexander J. Motyl
Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1993, 202 pp.

Motyl is a lively writer with a vigorous, spicy intellect, and the reader has the benefit of both in this first full-length study of independent Ukraine. He believes that Ukraine, like virtually all of the post-Soviet states, is the victim of the crosscutting effects of the collapse of both imperialism and totalitarianism. The first compels societies to change and leaves their population ready for change; the second makes it very hard for them to change, deprives leaders of the means for bringing about change and leaves their people too destitute to endure radical change. As a result, Motyl has a grim view of the misery and trouble facing Ukraine and other new states, particularly if they and their Western well-wishers persist in trying to build instant democracies and instant market-based economies.