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When one looks back on Hindus' outstanding successes, one realizes that the secret of these successes lies largely in his ability to present a social picture in terms of individuals. The weakness of this new book is that he approaches his topic from the general- and rarely gets down to the particular. This is not his forte. The book seems, as a result, lacking in focus or organization. There is a lot of important data here, much of it fresh; there are pen portraits of such varied figures of Litvinov, Troyanovsky, Onmansky, Ponomarenko, Kaganovitch, Zhdanov and others; there are occasional bits of anecdote or personal experience. But the main body of the text deals with successive blunders made by Stalin and his group:- abysmal ignorance of the outside world, and particularly of America is the biggest blunder; offensive moves against Iran and Turkey early in the game- the launching of the Korean War at the other, cemented America and Western Europe instead of dividing them; the shifting attitudes towards China, the successive prophecies regarding economic collapse in the U.S., the communist strength in Italy and France, the Berlin Blockade- all these help pyramid the errors. The disastrous effects of the Korean War on both Russia and China are immeasurable and set back the promised rise of living standards. That all of these factors may be producing ""crisis in the Kremlin"" is implicit but unproved. Some of Hindus' faith in the people of Russia, in the permanency of some of the achievements, in the democratic operation at village level, in the mounting ferment is still integral to his text. His ultimate belief in reformation not destruction at the governmental level still remains to be proved more concretely than he proves it here.

Publisher: Doubleday