This book is Gorbachev’s attempt to explain two phenomena; the economic restructuring of the USSR and the pressing need for a drastic reassessment in superpower relations. It is divided into two parts of exactly equal length and is written with a vitality and enthusiasm now taken as characteristic of the Genera l Secretary. Unfortunately the work possesses absolutely no literary merit, and though this should have no bearing on its credibility as a work of political theory, it is impossible not to be affected by the repetition and limitation of its language. This is not helped by an atrocious translation from the 34 Russian that renders large parts of the text ridiculous.
In Part One, under such chapter headings as ‘Mo re Light to Glasnost’ and ‘On to Full Cost Accounting’, Gorbachev outlines the essentials of economic reform and the planned move away from heavy centralisation . A harsh attack on parasitism, laziness and economic stagnation is followed by a rather self-righteous