Shadows and Whispers: Power Politics Inside the Kremlin from Brezhnev to Gorbachev

Dusko Doder, Author Random House (NY) $19.95 (339p) ISBN 978-0-394-54998-9
As Moscow bureau chief for the Washington Post, Doder observed the ""series of embarrassingly feeble old men'' during the Brezhnev-to-Andropov-to-Chernenko transitions that led to the emergence of Mikhail Gorbachev. He describes how Andropov, moving into the vacuum created by Brezhnev's physical decline, won the ensuing power struggle with Chernenko (and pushed forward Gorbachev and other younger men who have since unseated many of the old guard) only to be replaced 15 months later by Chernenko, who in his turn lived only 13 more months. Doder provides a comprehensive account of Gorbachev's background and rise to power, plus an incisive review of his first year in power. The book is notable for its objectivity: Doder writes, ``I have tried to look at the Soviet Union on its own terms.'' Photos. Major ad/promo; author tour. (December 10)
Reviewed on: 10/28/1986
Release date: 11/01/1986
Paperback - 346 pages - 978-0-14-010526-1
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