As he glimpsed the visage of his ally andnprotector for the last time, the manifesdyndistraught Chemenko repeatedly puflfednout his cheeks, and seemed to addressnBrezhnev directiy. After the casket wasnlowered, the assembled dignitaries eachncast a handful of earth into the grave.nMost did so with a show of propernrespect. Andropov, however, scoopednup some earth and threw it uponnBrezhnev’s coffin with one quick, perfunctoryngesture. Then he wheelednaround, and strode briskly away.nWhat all this meant, one could onlynguess. How did Andropov emerge victorious?nWhat were his political intentions?nIn the broad sweep of Sovietnhistory, what did his accession signify?nDid it mean nothing more than a continuationnof stolid, bureaucratic totalitarianism,nor was there something novelnin the air?nPart of the answer lay hidden withinnthe chambers of the Kremlin and withinnthe minds of Andropov and his colleagues.nTheir respective ambitions,npurposes, passions, and mutual rivalriesnremained a matter of careful and tentativenspeculation, since most of thenavailable evidence was cryptic andnambiguous. Most of it, in fact, was rumornand gossip—but not all. There were,nafter all, certain facts and circumstancesnwhich could be established by soundnresearch, facts no less revelatory for theirnbeing historically attestable.nThe stated aims of Messrs. Beichmannand Bemstam is to place the fragmentarynand sparse available facts about Andropov’sncareer into the context of thenpolitical and social history of the SovietnUnion. Their success, given the difficultiesnand obstacles in their path, is remarkable,neven if it extends only to the laten1950’s. The final part of their narrative,nconcerning Andropov’s career in then1960’s and 1970’s, is sketchy and brief ftnmust be supplemented, for want of anbetter alternative, by the tendentiousnand rumormongering, though at timesndiscerning, book by Vladimir Solovyovnand Elena Klepikova.nThe central concern of Beichman andnBernstam is Andropov’s place in thenpolitics of the fitial phase of the Stalin era.nThey careftilly delineate the genesis andnultimate rise to prominence of what theynrefer to as “the Brotherhood,” a group ofnSoviet apparatchiki which includednamong its ranks Andropov, MikhailnSuslov, and Leonid Brezhnev. These mennowed their collective ascent to twonthings: Stalin’s Great Purge of the laten1930’s, and the preparation of thenscheme which Stalin conceived in thenlast phase of his life (1945-1953), andnwhich, had he lived, he intended tonrealize in the mid- to late-1950’s. Stalinnplanned to use these relatively youngnmen to rebuild the war-ravaged communistnparty as a disciplined and farflungninstrument of totalitarian power. Atnthe same time, he intended to use themnto counterbalance and, ultimately, toneliminate the “old guard” of the existingnPolitburo, a group which he regardednwith increasingly dark suspicion: AndreinZhdanov, Georgi Malenkov, VyacheslavnMolotov, Lavrenti Beria, Kliment Voroshilov,nNikita Khrushchev, et al. Stalinndesired a dependable elite of loyalists toneffect his ultimate plans for the CommunistnParty and for Soviet society: ansecond Great Purge of the party, a newndrive to further collectivize agricultoren(i.e., a new mass terror directed againstnIn the Mailnthe already decimated peasantry), anrenewed attempt to establish a fullynmonolithic command economy, and,nlast but not least, a mass terror directednagainst Jews in the Soviet empire. Then”discovery” of the fabricated “ZionistnDoctors’ Plot” in late 1952 and earlyn1953 was the harbinger of the new GreatnTerror to follow, a grisly enterprisenwhose first rank of overseers would havenincluded Yuri Andropov.nStalin’s death in March 1953 derailednthe scheme. The “old guard,” animatednfirst and foremost by the instinct of selfpreservation,nwas quick to seize controlnand to disband and disperse, if onlynpartially, the Brotherhood. Khrushchevngradually emerged as the preeminentnfigure among the new leaders, but thenincreasing vigor of his destalinizationncampaign and a fear of its possiblenconsequences, as well as his personalndesire for supreme power, aroused thenhostility of his colleagues. In June 1957,nKhrushchev, averting his own overthrow,ndeposed these colleagues, then”anti-party group,” and sent them packing.nYet Khrushchev’s victory was anPyrrhic one. In overcoming the oppositionnof those with whom he had shared anmortal fear of Stalin’s mounting distrust,nKhrushchev was compelled to call uponnCigarettes: The Battle over Smoking by Ronald J. Troyer and Gerald E. Markle; RubersnUniversity Press; New Brunswick, PJf. The best part of this scholarly text is an epigram fromnOscar Wilde: “A cigarette is the perfect type of pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied.nWhat more can one want?” The book, however, is “A Volume in the Crime, Law, and DeviancenSeries.” So much for exquisite pleasure.nAn American Saga: The Story of Helen Thomas and Simon Flexner by James ThomasnFlexner; Little, Brown; Boston. James Thomas Flexner, a Pulitzer Prize and National BooknAward recipient, a writer who has created a body of works that would require a long shelf, a scholarnwhose four-volume biography of George Washington is being parlayed into prime time, hasnwritten a massive biography of his mom and dad. Admittedly, Mr. and Mrs. Flexner were rathernextraordinary people (Mr. was a leading medical researcher; Mrs. had Bertrand Russell as a firstncousin), but still, mom and dad they were.nChampions qffreedom, Volume 10; Hillsdale College Press; Hillsdale, MI. Economics anla von Mises, or ideas made interesting.nnn^ ^ H 1 7nJuly 1984n