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View Diary: Dismantling Reagan's Legacy, Part 1 (16 comments)

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  •  Oh hey... thanks, google: (2+ / 0-)
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    quill, tardis10

    I'll just let Kaiser critique his own article, instead, 12 years later:

    I failed to appreciate how ideas reborn in the Thaw — reformist, humanistic, pragmatic ideas about the need to make the post-Stalin Soviet Union a better society — had survived Brezhnev's "De-Khrush- chevization".  I knew that the small band of dissidentl, liberal intellectuals held on to these ideas, but I didn't understand that they also lived on in the minds of many senior apparatchiks, academics, diplomats, scientists, and even party leaders.
    Which pretty much gibes with what I said above.

    I don't think Kaiser failed big here: it's hard to see the ground when you're working at the level he was working at.  I don't know his level of comfort with the language and culture, or how much groundwork he really got to see.  It just reads strangely in retrospect.

    But trust me on this one: Russia is my wheelhouse (check my diary history).  Détente was a good and important thing for many reasons, but it wasn't a significant contributor to the downfall of the Soviet Union: that kind of argument does great injustice to just how much work was being done from the inside to bring down the regime, and how many decades of hard work, prison time, blacklisting, organizing, and deaths it ended up taking.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:59:20 PM PST

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