I AM FROM MOSCOW by Yuri Krotkov


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What will a film writer who defected from the Soviet Union in 1963 have to say about Russia and Communism? Much of Krotkov's book is devoted to complaints about the scarcity of nylon, furniture, housing, and tourist permits. Admitting that he lacked the heart to stay and fight with his fellow artists for greater freedom of expression, he reveals his intellectual deficiencies as well. He seems far more upset about his personal inconveniences than about the faults of the trade unions or the workers' resentment of the ""parasitic classes."" He habitually confounds Marxism, Soviet Marxism and Russian administrative policies. He admires the variety of cars in Japan, but never mentions Libermanism or shows any understanding of the priorities of industrial development. Krotkov has a keen eye for corrupt, repressive and/or ridiculous practices (which he has hopefully kept open in his new home, Spain). But he fails to distinguish between cultural, technical and ideological factors. Born in 1917, he reflects the decay of revolutionary spirit far better than he analyzes it. His whining bypasses or distorts the genuine issues concerning Russia's failure to realize socialist ideals. A better sense of proportion--and of history--would have made his sketches of party hacks, philistines, anti-Semites and crooks more compelling.

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1967
Publisher: Dutton