THE GORBACHEV STRATEGY: Opening the Closed Society by Thomas H. Naylor

THE GORBACHEV STRATEGY: Opening the Closed Society

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A new twist to Sovietology, employing the corporate approach of ""strategic analysis"" to assess the ""competition""--i.e., the Soviet Union: its relative strengths and weaknesses, its long-term goals and objectives, and the consequences of alternative strategies that the Soviets might utilize. It is understandable that Naylor would take this approach, since from his perch as Director of Corporate and Economic Strategy at Duke's Fuqua School of Business he has authored several books on strategic management, and has advised both industry and government on management. This is a book for those who have had the strange feeling that, in our current world, the prevailing heads of state could just as easily be envisioned sitting in corporate boardrooms. Naylor presents Gorbachev as a ""manager"" concerned for the devaluation of his ""company."" The author's strategic analysis examines Gorbachev's economy, politics, military, agriculture, and foreign policy. What does he find? For one, it appears that Gorbachev is being forced by circumstances toward radical economic, political, and foreign policy reforms. In economics, the Soviet leader looks toward Hungary's successes with its less-centralized, market-oriented economic system, and instead of sending in the tanks, à la 1956, he is driven by a desire to emulate those successes. Again, in international trade, Gorbachev seeks to reduce international tensions through global interdependence based upon bilateral trade between the East and West. ""Economic clout has become a more important indicator of political influence than military might"" (as in the case of Japan). Gorbachev's strides in accomplishing these objectives is a function of his ability to come to grips with the ""company culture."" He seems to be doing this by continuing to de-Stalinize the Soviet Union and ""open the closed society."" As part of this, ""he has embarked on a systematic strategy to change the centrally planned economy, the Communist Party, the vast government bureaucracy, the military establishment, and the KGB."" Naylor feels that it is incumbent upon the US to respond positively, creatively, and in an imaginative fashion. ""It is not business as usual in Moscow, and it is no longer in our self-interest to continue pretending otherwise."" An original approach to Gorbachev's glasnost.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1987
Publisher: Lexington