EAST MINUS WEST = ZERO by Werner Keller


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The author's aim in this book is to expose Russian achievements for what they are: the end products of Western technology. His thesis is that the Soviet Union without the West would be today a backward country: that her spectacular progress over eight centuries of development is totally attributable to her importation and theft of Western knowledge. In a word, the balance-sheet of the East-West relationship is simple: all that the West has achieved has been done without a single contribution from the Russians; all that the East has achieved has been done without a single contribution from the Russians. It is not a totalitarian system that Mr. Keller opposes, but a whole people--a people he claims to have consistently betrayed the friendliness of the West, a people he believes to possess no genius other than the one for imitation. If Mr. Keller does not adhere to a philosophy of racial superiority, he skillfully advocates the inferiority of the Slavic race. The utility of reading this kind of book is not easy to assess because there are two quite different reasons for studying it. One is the fact that this book will enable the reader to make a sounder appraisal of the present capacities of Russia to the extent that he accepts the most narrow definition of Mr. Keller's thesis, that is, the Russian's ""firsts"" in space exploration are not demonstrative of Soviet scientific and technological superiority. To the extent that Mr. Keller negates the real achievements of our competitor, he fills an obvious and yawning gap in East-West relations. His book has put an end to the Soviet's monopoly on substituting half-truths for truths.

Pub Date: March 26th, 1961
Publisher: Putnam