The Promises We Keep: Human Rights, the Helsinki Process and American Foreign Policy

In This Review

The Promises We Keep: Human Rights, the Helsinki Process and American Foreign Policy

By William Korey
St. Martin's Press, 1993
518 pp. $45.00
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This is a long, detailed and knowledgeable history of the Helsinki process, from the origins of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe to the recent past. The author, who served for many years as Director of International Policy Research at B'nai B'rith, concentrates almost wholly on the human rights component of the process; the important economic and security dimensions will be the work of another author. He tells the story extremely well, having closely followed the issues through the years and been personally acquainted with many of the participants. Initially the United States was quite skeptical and played a passive role in the Helsinki process, Secretary of State Kissinger viewing it as either inconsequential or a Soviet ploy. But its value as an instrument with which to press for improved human rights in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe eventually made for a turnaround in the American approach. How this came about is at the heart of this tale.

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