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Soviet policy

By Joseph C. HarschJoseph C. Harsch is a Monitor columnist. / February 15, 1984



Soviet Foreign Policy: The Brezhnev Years (Revised edition), by Robin Edmonds. New York: Oxford University Press. 288 pp. $9.95 (paperback).

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This is a useful and valuable reference book for any diplomat, journalist, historian, or student working in the area of East-West relations.

Robin Edmonds is a recently retired British Foreign Service officer. He served in the British Embassy in Moscow and as head of a department in the Foreign Office. The book contains a detailed, year-by-year chronology of Soviet behavior and Western reaction to it from the last years of Khrushchev through the Brezhnev era.

Mr. Edmonds helps the reader put the Cuban missile crisis into perspective. From that crisis he traces the search for peacekeeping machinery, which led to the era of detente, eventually sagged, and finally died with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the advent of martial law in Poland. The reader finds in this volume a fine example of the professional diplomat who knows the facts, assembles them, and puts them into perspective. The approach is coolly objective. Soviet behavior becomes more understandable in such treatment.