PEACE, DETENTE, AND SOVIET-AMERICAN RELATIONS: A Collection of Public Statements by Leonid Brezhnev by Leonid Brezhnev

PEACE, DETENTE, AND SOVIET-AMERICAN RELATIONS: A Collection of Public Statements by Leonid Brezhnev

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The publishers of this book are apparently willing for us to accept it at face value; there is no introduction by a competent Western Sovietologist to put Brezhenev's speeches in some sort of minimal socio-political and historical context or to balance the preface in which the Soviet president assures ""my American reader"" that ""this book will give you firsthand knowledge of the views of 'the other side' in the spirit of 'fair play' so respected by Americans."" What is more, the explanatory notes before each speech read as if they had been written by the Novosti Press Agency (which did the translations) and straightfacedly talk of Brezhnev's ""profound analysis"" and undying commitment to ""peace and international cooperation. . . freedom and the independence of nations."" The 52 ""public statements"" themselves span the years 1973 to 1978 and are not without value to the scholar. Brezhnev addresses issues of ""peace and detente"" ranging from the arms race (""The military preparations of the capitalist states are compelling the socialist countries to allocate the necessary funds for defense. . ."") to the Helsinki Conference (""The main thing now is to translate all the principles. . . into practical deeds"") to China (""What strikes one is the total lack of principle in the foreign policy of the Chinese leaders""). But whether the ""American reader"" will find the repetitive, dry, and generally unstimulating speeches to be of interest is highly doubtful.

Pub Date: April 5th, 1979
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich