The experts are divided. The optimists argue that Mikhail Gorbachev's qualities and personal dynamism as a leader have generated sufficient broad-based support to achieve a true revolution in Soviet conditions. The skeptics, however, feel that Gorbachev will fail no less than other reformers over the Russian centuries. THE SOVIET PARADOX: EXTERNAL EXPANSION, INTERNAL DECLINE by Seweryn Bialer, New York: Knopf, 1986
An authoritative analysis of the transition from Brezhnev to Gorbachev.
THE SIXTH CONTINENT: MIKHAIL GORBACHEV AND THE SOVIET UNION by Mark Frankland, New York: Harper & Row, 1987
A richly detailed, journalistic account of both state and society.
GORBACHEV'S CHALLENGE: ECONOMIC REFORM IN THE AGE OF HIGH TECHNOLOGY by Marshall Goldman, New York: Norton, 1987
A skeptical account; holds little hope for success.
REFORMING THE SOVIET ECONOMY: EQUALITY VERSUS EFFICIENCY by Ed Hewett, Washington: the Brookings Institution, 1988
A dispassionate analysis of the broader issues.
THE LONG ROAD TO FREEDOM: RUSSIA AND GLASNOST by Walter Laqueur, New York: Scribner's, 1989
A cautious, smoothly written general survey based on wide reading and long familiarity with the subject.