Parting with Illusions

Vladimir Pozner, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $19.95 (324p) ISBN 978-0-87113-287-1
Although readers will find the book deeply involving, ultimately they will wonder at its point: Memoir? Polemic? Apologia? As autobiographer, the Russian TV commentator is disappointingly reticent. Albeit revealing of his privileged early years in Paris and Manhattan with his Russian father, a Marxist, and French mother, the family's move to East Berlin in 1948 when he was 15 and their emigration to Moscow in 1953, Pozner insufficiently discloses his later life in the nomenklatura. Often the polemicist intercepts the diarist to castigate Americans for disregarding their principles of equality, but one can't take seriously Pozner's lectures on racism when he presents himself as a model of rectitude and offers as evidence his ``love'' for the black maid of his childhood. He is opinionated about the Soviet leadership back to Stalin, yet, perhaps wisely, checks his gait when traversing today's boggy ground, although he strongly supports glasnost. The book does not read as if Pozner were seeking an imprimatur from the General Secretary, however; his sincerity and humanism are convincing--but Pozner shows himself to be less knowing about Americans than he thinks. Author tour. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 978-0-380-71349-3
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