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Voices of Glasnost: Gorbachev's Reformers Speak
     

Voices of Glasnost: Gorbachev's Reformers Speak

by Stephen F. Cohen, Katrina Vanden Heuvel
 
This book of candid interviews with fourteen Soviet public figures offers readers a more direct kind of access to the historic reforms know as perestroika, or restructuring, that have been underway in that country since Mikhail Gorbachev became its leader in 1985.

Overview

This book of candid interviews with fourteen Soviet public figures offers readers a more direct kind of access to the historic reforms know as perestroika, or restructuring, that have been underway in that country since Mikhail Gorbachev became its leader in 1985.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The 14 Perestroishchiki interviewed here by Cohen ( Sovieticus ), director of Russian studies at Princeton, and Nation editor Heuvel are an impressive lot: three are members of the Central Committee, one (Aleksandr Yakovlev) of the Politburo, nine are elected representatives to the new Congress of People's Deputies. Although drawn from different fields--the bureaucracy, the sciences, journalism, the arts--and holding varying viewpoints specific to their vested interests, these spokespeople (only one woman is included, a sociologist), speak with one voice on the grave need for reform and their guarded optimism for the ultimate forging of a humane, workable Soviet Socialism. Articulate, candid, some lively, others ponderous, they respond to probing questions about glasnost and censorship, the Russian economy (economic reform, they agree, is more difficult to accomplish than political reform), conservativism among the no men klat ura , ap par at chiks and workers. About foreign relations, especially, their postures have the ring of authenticity, as when Central Committee member George Arbatov states, `` . . . to continue the Cold War the U.S. will need a partner. We won't be that partner.'' And when poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko defends himself against Western criticism of his ``conformity'' under Brezhnev with the observation that ``I'm not God. Nobody is God--not even God,'' one is amused at his cheek and trusts his integrity. Photos not seen by PW . ( Oct.)
Library Journal
Usually a book-length collection of interviews is unpromising fare, but this work is exceptional. The officials and intellectuals who have spearheaded Gorbachev's attempt to reform Soviet society have much to say. Prodded by sharp questions, they show how different their conception of democracy is from our own: a historian--a ``radical supporter'' of perestroika--indicts censorship and calls for unfettered scholarship but wonders why historians must ``reach conclusions that contradict the party line,'' and a sociologist who calls for intellectual dissent opposes creation of a rival party. ``There are various kinds of democracy,'' another reformer points out. Whether a Soviet variant can be imposed from above is the great question of our age. Recommended for informed general readers and specialists.-- Mark C. Carnes, Barnard Coll., Columbia
Booknews
Fourteen Soviet public figures talk about their personal and political struggles to change the Soviet system. No bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393026252
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
10/28/1989
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
1
Product dimensions:
1.00(w) x 1.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Stephen F. Cohen is director of Russian studies at Princeton University and a regular commentator on network television.

Katrina vanden Heuvel is the author of many articles on Soviet affairs.

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