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After the Collapse: Russia Seeks Its Place As a Great Power
After the Collapse: Russia Seeks Its Place As a Great Power
By Dimitri K. Simes
Simon & Schuster, 1999, 288 pp
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In this blend of memoir and essay, Simes, the director of the Nixon Center, reflects on the process that brought the Soviet Union down and the new Russia to its present battered state. His are strong opinions: on Nixon, favorable; on the Clinton administration's foreign policy, unfavorable; on Gorbachev, positive but qualified; and on Yeltsin, less positive but nuanced. Partly through his association with Nixon and partly on his own, Simes knows most of the key Russian figures in the story and many of the Americans, giving an added dimension to his account. This makes for interesting reading, but the book's most impressive portions come from the insights into Russia's plight and the challenges ahead -- insights of one raised in Russia and well connected to its elite but no less well attuned to the United States, his adopted country.