Gorbachev

Zhores A. Medvedev, Author, Zhores A. Medvdedv, Author W. W. Norton & Company $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-393-02308-4
This is biography Soviet-style, meaning that there is very little personal, factual data regarding the official being written about (it is known, for example, that Gorbachev's father is dead, but not whether the General Secretary has siblings). Despite his seemingly solid sources in the U.S.S.R., which include his brother, historian Roy Medvedev, the author, an exiled Russian biochemist now living in London, has virtually nothing to tell us about Gorbachev that hasn't been reported in the press. His book is fleshed out with information regarding Communist Party structure and procedures for governance, history, geography, the economy, speculation and opinion, all interesting and enlightening for the casual reader but of minimal value to the informed. In discussing Gorbachev's policies, Medvedev concludes that the General Secretary is not a liberalizing reformist, that the ""style'' may be newGorbachev has obviously discovered PRbut content is not: changes already made in policy are only cosmetic. That Gorbachev is news and has caught the world's imagination may have been Medvedev's impetus for writing about him, but the book, on balance, proves to be premature. (May 27)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1986
Release date: 05/01/1986
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-0-393-30408-4
Hardcover - 220 pages - 978-0-631-14782-4
Hardcover - 978-0-03-902308-9
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