The Last Years of the Soviet Empire: Snapshots from 1985-1991

By Vladimir Shlapentokh; Neil F. O'Donnell | Go to book overview

SEEING THROUGH THE NEW SOVIET IMAGE NOVEMBER 1986

This snapshot and the one that follows help explain the ambivalence that
characterized many of Gorbachev's initiatives. If Gorbachev is viewed as a
visionary, devoted to reform and justice, then some of his decisions are hard
to understand. If, however, he is seen as a pragmatist, devoted to reforming
the economy primarily to maintain military parity, then these same decisions
make more sense. In fact, Gorbachev was both a visionary and a pragmatist,
which is why he sometimes appeared inspired and idealistic, at other times
cold and calculating, and at all times was hard to predict.

Whatever the long-term outcome of the Reykjavik summit, it confirmed a radical, almost revolutionary, shift in Soviet ideological strategy. Even in comparison with the meeting in Geneva, Soviet public relations officials acted as though they had come from a new country. Not only were they friendlier with foreign journalists and more willing to answer questions, but (and this is a real miracle) they agreed to speak with those fighting to emigrate from the Soviet Union. Western officials must now determine whether these developments represent a significant change in Soviet thinking or if they simply reflect a new way of dispensing the same old propaganda.

It is noteworthy that the envoys from Moscow included Fyodor Burlatsky, an intellectual and a typical representative of the spirit of the 20th Party Congress, which paved the way for modernization after Stalin's death and which advanced several advocates of Soviet liberalization. Burlatsky, a political scientist and journalist, was the star of an unprecedented news conference dealing with domestic issues--a conference during which (yet another miracle) Soviet officials voluntarily discussed popular resistance to Gorbachev's reforms.

The Soviets stuck to their new public relations style after the Reykjavik meeting: On his way back to Washington, Ambassador Yuri Dubinin condescended to speak with the relatives of some refuseniks. They were later received by Soviet officials in Washington and were permitted to file their complaints. Moreover, Ludmila Alexeieva, once a leading Soviet dissident and now an emigrant, recently visited the Soviet consulate and discussed with its representatives the plight of Anatoly Marchenko, a human rights activist tortured for many years in the Gulag.

The Soviet's presentation in Iceland follows a year of new developments in Soviet propaganda related to the West. Soviet authorities allowed Vladimir Pozner, a sophisticated journalist who until this year was a non-person

____________________
This article originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal on November 11, 1986.

-27-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Last Years of the Soviet Empire: Snapshots from 1985-1991
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 223

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.