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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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... and Soviet conservatives aimed at provoking a crisis in Eastern Europe. For this reason, as Karen Dawisha’s book shows, Gorbachev’s attempt to reform ‘state socialism’ must apply as much to Eastern Europe as to the Sovet Union. In Eastern Europe, however, his task is if anything even more daunting. Not only have most regimes there been ...

First Person

Tony Wood: Putin’s Russia, 5 February 2015

‘Sistema’, Power Networks and Informal Governance 
by Alena Ledeneva.
Cambridge, 327 pp., £19.99, February 2013, 978 0 521 12563 5
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The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin 
by Masha Gessen.
Granta, 314 pp., £9.99, January 2013, 978 1 84708 423 1
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Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia? 
by Karen Dawisha.
Simon and Schuster, 464 pp., £11.50, September 2014, 978 1 4767 9519 5
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... of Russia back into the USSR’, while in Putin’s Kleptocracy, Karen Dawisha insisted, in more excitable vein, that we need to understand his rule as the triumph of a nefarious KGB ‘cabal’ which had spent the 1990s preparing for a creeping revanchist takeover. The figure of the president has always loomed large in ...

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