As reviewed in the Slavic Review by Mary McAuley of the University of Essex:
“This is a short, interesting book, unsatisfactory in some ways but well worth reading by those who teach and study Soviet politics. The substance of the book is an analysis of the content of Pravda editorials for 1950, 1960, and 1970. This is not based on conventional content analysis but on the coding of, for example, all references to individual sectors, industries, regions, and institutions. I am not convinced that it is necessary to resort to such an elaborate procedure to produce findings, but, if a thorough quantitative method is desire, this is probably as good as any and better than many. The purpose of the analysis is to examine the changing political agenda between 1950 and 1970, that is, the political leadership’s perception of political priorities and methods of dealing with them. Again there are problems: despite the author’s arguments in favor of treating Pravda editorials as such, I am unconvinced that they reflect more than part of the political agenda.
The strength of the book lies elsewhere. First, the author gives a lucid, concise, and informative account of the workings of the Soviet press and of Pravda’s role in particular (chapter 3). It is an excellent introduction for anyone starting to read the Soviet press. Second, the author sets his analysis within the wider context of three models of the political system (totalitarian, pluralist, and bureaucratic). He spells these out in a refreshingly economic yet thoughtful way (chapter 2). He does not make great claims for his findings, and I would query the ‘evidence’ for or against a particular interpretation that he sometimes produces. However, he does make a number of stimulating and original suggestions, such as the notion of ‘free zones.’ It would be good to pursue the question of geographical attention further. His treatment of the convergence thesis is interesting as well.
In short, this is a book whose findings are of less interest that the author’s sharp, stimulating, and original observations on the workings of the system.”
Slavic Review, Vol. 39, Issue 4, December 1980, pp. 691
- Title: The Soviet Political Agenda: Problems & Priorities 1950-1970
- Author: Daniel Tarschys
- Publisher: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.
- Year: 1979
- Place: White Plains, NY
- Printed in Great Britain
- First Edition
- LCCN: 7853821
- ISBN: 0873321197
- Length: 217pp
- Dimensions: 5.75” x 8.75”
- Condition: The dustjacket is in good condition, fully intact though visibly scuffed from shelf-wear. A library call number has been affixed to the dustjacket’s spine. The red cloth covered boards are pristine. The binding is tight, and the pages are clean—no folds, tears, or extraneous marks.