To the Editor:
Of course I fully agree with Arch Puddington when he says in his splendid article, “The Anti-Cold War Brigade” [August], that Reagan’s policies greatly contributed to the favorable evolution of the Soviet Union—and pretty well every Soviet I’ve met, both official and unofficial, supports that view.
But it is absurd of Mr. Puddington to say, “It would be difficult to find a Soviet authority who has been more consistently inaccurate than [Stephen F.] Cohen.” I disagree with Stephen Cohen on many points, and his political analyses are politically aligned. But his scholarship is sound; his views of the nature and extent of Stalinism are solid and sensible. It would be very easy to “find” half-a-dozen reasonably well-known Sovietologists who are guilty not merely of what we may consider to be political misjudgment but also of professional incompetence, and the distinction is an important one.
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