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Going West

John Barber

24 November 1988
The Gorbachev Phenomenon: A Historical Interpretation 
by Moshe Lewin.
Radius, 176 pp., £12.95, June 1988, 0 09 173202 6
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The Thinking Reed: Intellectuals and the Soviet State from 1917 to the Present 
by Boris Kagarlitsky, translated by Brian Pearce.
Verso, 374 pp., £17.95, July 1988, 0 86091 198 5
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Eastern Europe, Gorbachev and Reform: The Great Challenge 
by Karen Dawisha.
Cambridge, 268 pp., £22.50, June 1988, 0 521 35560 5
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... It is a measure of Gorbachev’s impact in the three and a half years since he became General Secretary that the debate over his significance among Western observers has fundamentally changed. The once common view that he has merely provided a moribund system with a new image is now rarely heard. (Senator Quayle’s recent comment that ‘perestroika is nothing more than refined Stalinism’ is as ...
19 May 1983
by Roy Medvedev, translated by Brian Pearce.
Blackwell, 292 pp., £9.50, November 1982, 0 631 12993 6
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Soviet Policy for the 1980s 
edited by Archie Brown and Michael Kaser.
Macmillan/St Antony’s College, Oxford, 282 pp., £20, December 1982, 0 333 33139 7
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... Revolutions and their aftermath are a commoner feature of historical development than we often realise. What is happening today in Iran was happening fifteen years ago in China, sixty years ago in Russia and nearly two hundred years ago in France. It is a point made forcefully by Andrzej Wajda’s latest film, which depicts the struggle between Danton and Robespierre – between humanist and puritan ...

The Unrewarded End

V.G. Kiernan: Memories of the CP

17 September 1998
The Death of Uncle Joe 
by Alison Macleod.
Merlin, 269 pp., £9.95, May 1997, 0 85036 467 1
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Enemy Within: The Rise and Fall of the British Communist Party 
by Francis Beckett.
Merlin, 253 pp., £9.95, August 1998, 0 85036 477 9
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... the Soviet handling of postwar Eastern Europe. Among the people she spoke to, Monty Johnstone’s is a name that recurs, along with the philosopher Hyman (Hymie) Levy, Peter Fryer the journalist, and BrianPearce, well known today as a translator of historical works from French and Russian. Levy she remembers as a very persuasive public speaker, whose Edinburgh accent ‘made everything sound ...


Ronan Bennett: The IRA Ceasefire

22 September 1994
... out. They would have preferred an IRA surrender. They would have preferred Gerry Adams to be in jail instead of shaking hands with Albert Reynolds in Dublin. A lot of them would have preferred, as Brian Hitchen put it in the Sunday Express, that the prisoners had been transferred back to the North in coffins. They like it even less that the breakthrough has come, not from the British, the side that ...


Walter Nash

9 November 1989
The Mezzanine 
by Nicholson Baker.
Granta, 135 pp., £10.95, September 1989, 0 14 014201 0
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The Memoirs of Lord Byron 
by Robert Nye.
Hamish Hamilton, 215 pp., £11.95, September 1989, 0 241 12873 0
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All you need 
by Elaine Feinstein.
Hutchinson, 219 pp., £11.95, September 1989, 0 09 173574 2
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The woman who talked to herself 
by A.L. Barker.
Hutchinson, 186 pp., £11.95, October 1989, 0 09 174060 6
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by Rose Tremain.
Hamish Hamilton, 371 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 241 12695 9
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... idealistic, Newnham-nurtured bluestocking, content to reside in deepest Royston among her Russian texts, all ignorant of the world’s inveterate capacity to forsake the righteous until her husband, Brian, who is something nasty in the City, gets in with a very untrustworthy class of yuppie and is thrown into jail for reasons at first not apparent to Nell. What follows is her struggle to fend for ...


Karl Miller: On Doubles

2 May 1985
... a portentous, learned stranger, Broderick, to whom occult powers are attributed, and then, in the role of producer eventually, he joins a high-flying folk-music venture, in the company of his cousin Brian from the Irish side of the family and of the weird Darcy Burr. Broderick is the Devil, or the magus that trafficks with him, and Darcy doubles for Broderick as a sorcerer’s apprentice during the ...

A Nation of Collaborators

Adewale Maja-Pearce

19 June 1997
... from ‘free thinkers’, and who is now going to tell Nigerians how to redeem the nation’s image abroad and create a conducive atmosphere for government and the private sector to co-exist; Brian Anderson, the managing director of Shell, who is to make plans for protecting the environment; Professor Tam David-West, a disgraced former petroleum minister, who is to ponder the best means of ...

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