WHY THEY BEHAVE LIKE RUSSIANS by John Fischer

WHY THEY BEHAVE LIKE RUSSIANS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This report is repeated from page 633 of the December 15th bulletin when it carried the title- THE SCARED MEN IN THE KREMLIN. It is now a Book of the Month Co-selection for May. "" * Here's an excellent book to supply many of the missing links in our comprehension of the Soviet picture, a book which has a dispassionate, balanced judgment, compared- for example- with the new Lauterbach book (see page 614). The author as a representative of UNRRA had an opportunity to move around freely and to see Russians divorced from the political encumbrances and the restrictions of the press. His data was accumulated largely in the Ukraine and for the people with whom he dealt he has great respect. He found the Ukrainians not unlike the Texans, people who do things in a big way. He paints a tragic picture of vast losses, and believes it will take a decade to rebuild Russian homes and industries to meet the common needs, that war would be an impossibility. But while talk of war is in the air, he feels it imperative that we keep strong militarily. His explanation for the continuation of Russian forces in European countries is partially due to the fear- one among many- on the part of the Kremlin of what might happen were these men brought back to the shortages, the deprivations of the home front. Only in a worldwide depressions does he feel that the growth of the Communist ideology, the danger from Communist propaganda, is a factor to fear. He appraises the fears of the Russian leaders, and understands while he does not condone. This detachment along with this understanding is what gives his revealing book its balance. There's excellent material here on the training of the young Communists; of theirreligious zeal for the party, of how the Soviet political system functions. He discusses the agriculturists, who have lost independence but prospered under a collectivist system. He discusses the growing prestige of the church, and the power of the secret police. Exceedingly interesting reading from a well-informed source.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1947
Publisher: Harper