The Struggle for the Third World: Soviet Debates and American Options

The Struggle for the Third World: Soviet Debates and American Options

The Struggle for the Third World: Soviet Debates and American Options

The Struggle for the Third World: Soviet Debates and American Options

Excerpt

For a book so many years in the making, those who have contributed details or ideas may not only be too numerous to mention, but perhaps too numerous even to recall. Nevertheless, two broad groups, at least, deserve special citation. First, in the 1960s and early 1970s many scholars wrote books and especially dissertations on the growing Soviet literature about the outside world. Written as censorship was just being loosened and before much contact was permitted with Soviet scholars, this literature contains many excellent insights, but also much analysis that has not stood the test of time as more access has been possible and more information available. I thought it would be misleading to refer the reader uncritically to such works without pointing to differences in interpretation, but it would also be churlish to quarrel with this pioneering work.

The compromise I have made has been to leave much of this early literature uncited, but it is an uneasy compromise. In the aggregate this literature is an indispensable aid to the serious scholar studying this period. Its contribution to this book has been substantial--far more so than is indicated in the footnotes--and real thanks should be expressed to those who began opening the door to a new type of analysis about the Soviet Union at a time when the difficulties were very great.

The second group whose help is not adequately acknowledged in the footnotes are the Soviet scholars. I have met some 200 of them during the past eight years, including a great many of those whose work is cited in the footnotes. Most have been more than willing to discuss and explain their work and that of other scholars, to provide bibliographic leads, and in some cases even to read sections and chapters of the manuscript and provide comments. A number-- "conservative" as well as "liberal"-- have been as forthcoming in discussing Soviet scholarly debates as Western colleagues would be in discussing theirs. It is unfortunate that these scholars in particular cannot be named, but the rules of the scholarly exchange dictate that all conversations be off the record.

Still, Soviet scholars as a group have made an enormous contribution to this book. They have contributed greatly to an understanding of the com-

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