The Sixth Continent: Russia and the Making of Mikhail Gorbachov

Mark Frankland, Author HarperCollins Publishers $22.45 (292p) ISBN 978-0-06-015806-4
In one of the more cogent analyses of post-Brezhnev U.S.S.R., British journalist Frankland views with historical perspective Russia's internal conditions and those that affect its status within the community of industrialized nations. He states that this isolated society must be reformed if it is to remain a world power,and stresses that ""to change abroad Russia has first to change at home.'' He traces the corruption that became widespread under the ``benign neglect'' of Brezhnev: the concomitant scarcity of goods and services and inertia and indiscipline of workersthe inevitable debasement of absolute rule. He shows why the command economy has become unworkable and why the U.S.S.R., now a developed society, can no longer be directed effectively by apparatchiks scarcely better qualified than those they govern. Frankland reconnoitered carefully on his two tours in Moscow as correspondent for the Observer. From his keen familiarity with current Russian literature and theater he interprets the society's own sense of its troubles. His portrait of Gorbachev as ``not so much . . . a new kind of Russian as a Russian in a new sort of situation''a ruler adapting old traditions to new circumstances and wanting more control,not lesswill cause readers to reflect soberly about glasnost. (October)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-06-091534-6
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