Although the authors endlessly preach their endorsement of the popular front movements in perestroika U.S.S.R. and make certain disputable assertions, this study is nevertheless indispensable reading for those frustrated by the paucity of analytical coverage of nationalism there. The book notes that leaders of the Baltic popular front groups are tacticians, that the massed protests in Georgia have been unfocused, that (arguably) the territorial warfare between Armenia and Azerbaijan is irreconcilable under Soviet hegemony. More importantly, Diuk, researcher for the AFL-CIO, and Karatnycky, of the National Endowment for Democracy, a private foundation, review the stunning inequities in the allocation of resources and investment between favored Russia and the 14 other republics. Discounting apprehension among Sovietologists that the emergence of microstates in a destablized Soviet Union would cause ethnic violence, the authors questionably maintain that tensions among the republics result from a denial of sovereignty. Photos. (Nov.)
``We just never expected national feelings to arise as they have,'' commented Aleksandr Yakovlev, a Gorbachev ally, in April 1989. This account of the recent upsurge of Soviet ethnic groups is more readable than Stephen Carter's Russian Nationalism ( LJ 8/90), but not as scholarly and well footnoted as Bohdan Nahaylo and Victor Swoboda's Soviet Disunion ( LJ 5/15/90). It focuses on the Gorbachev era, with chapters on the Soviet Union's five geo-ethnic areas, and offers an excellent chapter on the economic and ecological manifestations of this issue. The authors argue that the nationalities problem is at the center of all political discourse in the Soviet Union and could grow to threaten world peace. Recommended for academic collections.-- John Yurechko, Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C.