The sixth continent: Russia and the making of Mikhail Gorbachov

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9780060158064: The sixth continent: Russia and the making of Mikhail Gorbachov
From Publishers Weekly:

In one of the more cogent analyses of post-Brezhnev U.S.S.R., British journalist Frankland views with historical perspective Russia's internal conditions and those that affect its status within the community of industrialized nations. He states that this isolated society must be reformed if it is to remain a world power,and stresses that "to change abroad Russia has first to change at home." He traces the corruption that became widespread under the "benign neglect" of Brezhnev: the concomitant scarcity of goods and services and inertia and indiscipline of workersthe inevitable debasement of absolute rule. He shows why the command economy has become unworkable and why the U.S.S.R., now a developed society, can no longer be directed effectively by apparatchiks scarcely better qualified than those they govern. Frankland reconnoitered carefully on his two tours in Moscow as correspondent for the Observer. From his keen familiarity with current Russian literature and theater he interprets the society's own sense of its troubles. His portrait of Gorbachev as "not so much . . . a new kind of Russian as a Russian in a new sort of situation"a ruler adapting old traditions to new circumstances and wanting more control,not lesswill cause readers to reflect soberly about glasnost.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

This fine book is about the Soviet Union's momentous political changes after Brezhnev's death in 1982. Frankland conveys a superb sense of the expectations of Soviet citizens and, occasionally, officials. Avoiding the faddish hyperbole of Gorbachev's glasnost (Andropov first used the word politically), he describes the origins and limitations of the General Secretary's policies and the opposition he provoked. He also provides examples of the symbiosis of literature and politics. But one yearns to know more about the bureaucrats who frustrate reform, and about foreign policy. A suitable companion to Seweryn Bailer's The Soviet Paradox ( LJ 7/86), recommended for public and academic libraries.Zachary Irwin, Behrend Coll., Pennsylvania State Univ., Erie
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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