The Long Road to Freedom: Russia and Glasnost

Walter Laqueur, Author Scribner Book Company $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-19030-3
When Mikhail Gorbachev speaks of democratic reforms, he really means an ``enlightened'' dictatorship under continued one-party rule, asserts Laqueur ( Terrorism ; Weimar Culture ). It is this historian's view that the Soviet Union's move toward liberalization ( glasnost ) and economic restructuring ( perestroika ) has peaked, and that the next few years may see a partial retreat, especially if promised consumer benefits do not materialize. In this calm, level-headed appraisal, Laqueur looks at ferment in the arts, the crisis in Soviet health care, the public acknowledgment of shoddy goods and a ``shadow'' economy and social problems like alcoholism and crime. While glasnost has not triggered a renaissance of liberal-left thought in the U.S.S.R., it has, Laqueur notes, sparked a Russian nationalist revival among those who scorn or fear modernism, liberalism, big-city life, Jews, a permissive society and alternative youth culture. His diagnosis is a sobering antidote to rosy views of glasnost. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 325 pages - 978-0-02-034090-4
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