From Washington to Moscow: US-Soviet Relations and the Collapse of the USSR
Louis Sell is a retired Foreign Service officer who served twentyseven years with the US Department of State, specializing in Soviet and Balkan affairs. He is the author of Slobodan Milosevic and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, also published by Duke University Press.
Leonid Brezhnev: Power and Stagnation
Brezhnev is remembered as a shuffling old man clinging to power past his time, but in his early years he was a vigorous player of the Kremlin power sweepstakes. Brezhnev consolidated his rule by removing hard-line opponents, sidelining Premier Aleksei Kosygin and his limited economic reforms, and allowing party barons virtually unlimited tenure that contributed to aging leadership and stagnation across the Soviet system. His farm policies failed to address underlying problems of the collectivized agricultural system but led to a large rise in unproductive spending that contributed to Soviet economic difficulties in later years. Brezhnev presided over a major buildup in Soviet nuclear and conventional weapons. A secret “missile civil war” among Soviet weapons designers set the stage for a massive missile buildup that put the USSR ahead of the United States in some categories of weapons.