Voices of Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev's Reformers

Stephen F. Cohen, Author, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Author, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, With W. W. Norton & Company $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-393-02625-2
The 14 Perestroishchiki interviewed here by Cohen ( Sovieticus ), director of Russian studies at Princeton, and Nation editor Heuvel are an impressive lot: three are members of the Central Committee, one (Aleksandr Yakovlev) of the Politburo, nine are elected representatives to the new Congress of People's Deputies. Although drawn from different fields--the bureaucracy, the sciences, journalism, the arts--and holding varying viewpoints specific to their vested interests, these spokespeople (only one woman is included, a sociologist), speak with one voice on the grave need for reform and their guarded optimism for the ultimate forging of a humane, workable Soviet Socialism. Articulate, candid, some lively, others ponderous, they respond to probing questions about glasnost and censorship, the Russian economy (economic reform, they agree, is more difficult to accomplish than political reform), conservativism among the no men klat ura , ap par at chiks and workers. About foreign relations, especially, their postures have the ring of authenticity, as when Central Committee member George Arbatov states, `` . . . to continue the Cold War the U.S. will need a partner. We won't be that partner.'' And when poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko defends himself against Western criticism of his ``conformity'' under Brezhnev with the observation that ``I'm not God. Nobody is God--not even God,'' one is amused at his cheek and trusts his integrity. Photos not seen by PW . ( Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-393-30735-1
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