dull expression on human faces. It isnthousands of miles of rolling hills ofnmonotonous beauty. It is archaicnwooden houses without plumbing.nBut there is electricity, and TV antennasndecorate many a cottage.nIn the 13th century, Southern Siberianwas dotted with staging postsnwhich enabled the Khans to maintainna good intelligence and communicationnsystem in their empire. Today,nSouthern Siberia is still a huge militaryncamp whose few transport routesnare tightly controlled. In remote areasnwe saw grass-covered ammunitionndumps, trains carrying tanks, machinenguns, and other military equipment.nAlong the 300-mile paved road fromnUlan-Ude to Irkutsk, I saw not a singlencar, only army vehicles and trucksncarrying unidentifiable cargo. I sawnvirtually no cars or private vehiclesnanywhere in Siberia, except in bigncities such as Irkutsk and Novosibirsk.nThe evident emphasis in Siberia onnthe military, contrasted with Gorbache”snsmiling peace o£fensi’e, madenme think of the unflattering descriphonnof the inhabitants of Karakorumnoffered in the 13th century by the friarnJohn de Piano Carpini:n421 CHRONICLES OF CULTUREn[They] are the greatest liars innthe world in dealing with othernpeople, and hardly a true wordnescapes from their mouths.nInitially they flatter, but in thenend they sting like scorpions.nThey are crafty and sly, andnwherever possible they try tonget the better of everybody elsenby false pretenses. If theynintend some mischief againstnothers they have an admirablenability to keep their intentionsnsecret, so that others cannotnBOOKS IN BRIEFntake any precautions orncountermeasures against theirnclever plans.nIn The Mortal Danger, AleksandrnSolzhenitsyn asserts that “[prerevolutionarynRussia] with her many nationalities,nknew no deportations of entirenpeoples and no armed separatistnmovements. . . . Camps there werennone; the very concept was unknown.”nYet in Irkutsk, one of the few architecturalnsights is Polskiy Kostwl, a RomannCatholic church built by 20,000 Polishnmen who were imprisoned therenfor taking part in the 1863 uprisingnagainst the Russians. In God’s Playground,nNorman Davies has describednhow these unfortunates made theirnlong journey to Siberia “packed intoncattle trucks or shackled together innlong lines, slowly trudging across thentundra to camps and prisons in thenmost distant fastnesses of the Empire.”nThe church served the Siberian Catholicnexiles until the October Revolution.nIt is now used as an officenbuilding and a concert hall. Itsnpseudo-Gothic style contrasts sharplynwith the nearby Orthodox church andnwith 19th-century wooden cottagesnwhich still house many inhabitants ofnIrkutsk.nFor two centuries now, the Russiannpopulation of Siberia has been subsidizednby Moscow to stimulate Russificationnof the area. This goal has beennlargely accomplished along the southernnborder of the empire. “The mightnof Russia is centered in Siberia,” proclaimsna huge slogan in the Siberiannresearch center of Akademgorodok. Itnechoes Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s exhortationnin From Under the Rubble:n”The Northeast reminds us that we,nthe Russians, are the Northeast of thenLiberalism in the Classical Tradition by Ludwig von Vlises; Foundation for EconomicnEducation; Irvington-on-Hudson, NY. A reprint of the 1927 classic of the Austrian school,nMises’ tract argues for pure liberalism: economic freedom, toleration of diversity, andnpeaceful free trade. A welcome corrective in this era of rampant statism, classical liberalismnnever could come to grips with the reality of family and nation. “For liberalism is, from thenery outset, a world-embracing political concept”—which explains the totalitarian accentnsometimes heard in this radical insistence on freedom.nConsensus and Conffict: Essays in Political Sociology by Seymour Martin Lipset; Transaction;nNew Brunswick, NJ. This second volume of Lipset’s essays are devoted to social andnpolitical conflict and the social and political mechanisms for maintaining consensus—usefulnWeberian analyses of American political conflicts, occasionally flawed by sweeping assumptionsnabout America’s distinctive equalitarianism and contempt for authority.nnnplanet . . but we have no more thanntwo or three decades … [to makenthese areas truly ours]: [later on], worldnpopulation explosion will take themnaway from us.”nHuge industrial enterprises which Insaw scattered along the Siberian routenand in European Russia contrastnsharply with the monumental inertnessnof the Russian people I met.nThere seemed to be no active dissatisfaction,nand obedience to the authoritiesnwas taken for granted.nJohn de Piano Carpini: “In thenwhole world there are to be found nonmore obedient subjects than thenTartars. . . . They pay their lordsnmore respect than any other people.n. . . They regard each other almost asnmembers of one family and … arenaccustomed to deprivation.”nWhile standing in line at the Museumnof Religion and Atheism in Leningrad,nI engaged in a conversation withnthose around me. One woman asked:n”Why are you Americans so stubborn,nwhy won’t you give in?” I decided thatngetting arrested for anti-So’iet propagandanwas not my idea of spending thenafternoon and replied that perhaps thenline was not an appropriate place tondiscuss such matters. “You are right,”nsaid the woman, “it is not for us tondiscuss such matters.”nRussian efforts to propagandize ourntour were less heavy-handed than the>’nhave been on previous visits. Gone arenthe grim Intourist guides of yore whonsounded like rural Party propagandists.nToday, Intourist personnel wear Westernnclothes and joke about Gorky Park,nHedrick Smith’s The Russians, and thenpossibility of being shipped off to Siberia.nThey speak excellent Englishnand are familiar with American idiom.nIn Novosibirsk, we heard of the “satellitentown” of Akademgorodok, and thenLake Baikal region was declared to ben”one vast recreational area.” Finetuningnof PR goes so far as to makenIntourist guides wear their weddingnbands on the left hand (normally,nRussians wear them on the right hand)nand to assign “typically Russian” firstnnames to them such as Natasha, Boris,nAlex, and so forth (I discovered bynaccident that our train conductor’s realnname was Filemon but he told us toncall him Vladimir).nJohn de Piano Carpini: “The Tartarsnfight more by stratagem than by sheern