Russia Shakes the World: The Second Russian Revolution and Its Impact on the West

Gary Hart, Author Cornelia & Michael Bessie Books $22 (255p) ISBN 978-0-06-039109-6
Former U.S. senator and presidential candidate Hart can't seem to decide if Gorbachev is a benevolent revolutionary, who emerged ``like a great mystery of our age,'' or a zigzagging politician now ``intent on making himself a dictator.'' In this generally glowing paean to the Soviet leader, Hart anticipates a Soviet Union lurching toward greater personal freedoms, free-market incentives and a federation of republics with a mixed economy. Although Hart has traveled extensively in the U.S.S.R. and interviewed many high-ranking officials, academics and writers, his portentous screed does little to illuminate the current situation there beyond what one finds in news reports. Hart comes off as a leaden, wordy writer who speechifies and as a fuzzy political analyst. His reappraisal of Lenin, whose brief experiment with free-market reform earns him the tentative sobriquet ``first perestroika man,'' and his strained parallels between Gorbachev, FDR and Lincoln make this a bizarre book. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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