The Kremlin and the West: A Realistic Approach

Wolfgang Leonhard, Author W. W. Norton & Company $17.95 (228p) ISBN 978-0-393-02372-5
According to Leonhard, who teaches at Yale, there is growing discontent among Soviet citizens with the regime's neglect of consumer needs, its restrictions on travel, its expenditure of vast sums on the arms industry. The author observes that Marxist-Leninist ideology has lost much of its grip in the U.S.S.R., having been replaced by nationalism and even chauvinism. For Leonhard, who defected to the West after he helped establish and govern communist East Germany, the Soviet Union today is neither the center of world subversion nor a peace-loving superpower. The new Soviet ruling class, he states, practices a kind of industrial feudalism; its obsolete, centralized power structure acts as a brake on the economic and technological growth so badly needed, and therein lies our greatest hope for Soviet reform. An elegantly written, powerful book that should be read by everyone concerned with U.S.Soviet relations, his report urges Reagan to adopt business-like relations with the Soviets and avoid military confrontations. (November 24)
Reviewed on: 10/28/1986
Release date: 11/01/1986
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