RUSSIA IN THE THAW by Alberto Ronohey

RUSSIA IN THE THAW

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is an updated and more analytical Inside Russia. Premier Khrushchev presides over tow Russias: one, the nation of dissatisfied consumers, housing shortages, agricultural orises; another the citadel of gleaming rocketry, lavish subways and scientific push. Ronchey is an Italian journalist who captures the mood of frustrated shoppers, weary proles and subsidized scientists embarrassed by the contrast between their way of life and the masses. One views the black marketeer squirming under the eye of a government judge; the grafter dispensing favors; the tribulations of young married couples who must, because of long working hours, board their infant at a nursing home; the stilyagi- frustrated, Westernized youth. The young Yevtushenko is met and followed to a poetry recital, troubled and suspended between eager libertarian followers and government restrictions. The older Ehrenburn is hardened to the ""reality""' of government. Ronchey finds a ""clandestine Russia"" which is uncorrupted. Its efforts are complemented by sporadic protest among disenchanted workers in government- sponsored ""unions."" His leaders, Khrushchev, Mikoyan, and others are governed not so much by ideology as by pragmatic considerations of coping with the threats to their rule inherent in agricultural crises, Chinese rivalry, consumer dissatisfaction... Ronchey's readers will not discover the solution here, as they might imagine they do in Kremlinologistic tomes; but they will emerge informed and shaken of myth.

Publisher: Norton