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As a member of the B-Team report early in the Reagan administration that took a decidedly alarmist view of Soviet military potential and intentions, against the more sanguine CIA interpretation, Harvard historian Pipes is an old hand at crying wolf. Here, he's come up with a virtual handbook of anti-Soviet hysteria. Adopting the viewpoint of Michael Voslensky's Nomenklatura (p. 579), Pipes asserts that the Soviet ruling class is hell-bent on dominating the world since its power rests only on power, and power has to expand. Other analysts who try to see the Soviets as a traditional state, with traditional state-interests, miss the fact that the USSR is moved only by the interest of its ruling class; thus, efforts at appeasement (such as Yalta) have failed. Pipes also whips out a quote from Frederick Engels, no less, on the inexorable desire for foreign domination of the Russian state in the 19th century, evidence that ""psychologically speaking, the greater the awe in which a Russian government is held by foreigners, the stronger is its claim to rule and the more satisfying the compensation that it offers to its people for their debased status."" This pathology is later used to account for the hostility of Soviet citizens to events in Czechoslovakia and Hungary, and for the fact that they won't be happy until we're all as bad off as they are. Pipes assails the usual Soviet accomplices--the media, academics, pacifists, antinuclear weapons advocates--as well as Richard Nixon (for his detente policy), adherents of deterrence theory (for thinking the Soviets can be deterred), and what he calls ""the brininess community"" (i.e., ""educated upper-income groups"" who are liberal on foreign policy issues). This enables Pipes to stand forth as a true anticommunist democrat, against the elitist anti-anticommunists. Belligerent and extreme.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1984
Publisher: Simon & Schuster