Russia, What Next? by Isaac Deutscher
This small volume-Isaac Deutscher’s contribution to the ever growing mountain of speculation which the perspiring Russian experts have heaped up since Stalin’s death-astonishes the reader. How could one man be so right and so wrong at the same time? How could so much perspicuity go with so much wishful thinking?
The perspicuity is largely concentrated in the early portions of the book, in which Deutscher vividly portrays the historical roots of the present crisis of Stalinism; the wishful thinking is in the book’s second half, where he tries to show that the crisis can be resolved and the Soviet Union democratized by Kremlin-inspired decrees. This neat division, however unfortunate, makes the reviewer’s task easier.
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