Power and Ideologynby Paul GottfriednThe Soviet Union, the CommunistnMovement, and the World:nPrelude to the Cold War,n1917-1941nby Alan J. LevinenNew York, Westport, and London:nPraeger; 203 pp., $37.95nAlan J. Levine explores the relationsnof the Soviet Union with both Asianand the West, from the Bolshevik Revolutionnthrough the Nazi-Soviet Pact.nFrom the title and from the author’snbiographical notes, it is apparent thatnthis volume is intended as an attempt atnunderstanding the Cold War. In fact,nLevine has already concluded the sequelnto this book, which 1 for one looknforward to seeing in print. Having beennfamiliar with his interpretation of Sovietnforeign policy from the time I was madena reader of his doctoral dissertation, Inam still in awe of the factual thoroughnessnand rigorous argument that henbrings to bear on his subject. Levine hasnread all available secondary works, andnused whatever original documents werenaccessible in the United States.nEven so, what is most significantnabout his work on the Soviet Union isnneither his thoroughness nor his painfulndigesting of endless monographs, includingnStalinoid revisionist defenses ofnthe Sovietization of Eastern Europe.nRather, Levine’s greatest talent is innmaking sense of the foreign policy ofnChurchill’s “enigma wrapped in a riddle.”nHe has weighed all the standardninterpretations of Soviet behavior • towardnother countries, from CeorgenKennan’s and Richard Pipe’s emphasesnon Russian national character, throughnStefan Possony’s picture of demonicnCommunist expansion, to the desperatenattempts by the American and Europeannleft to depict the Soviets as a perpetuallynbeleaguered power. Levine believesnthat the Soviets have been toonaggressive towards their neighbors, andntoo ruthlessly determined to imposentheir political-economic system even onnfriendly occupied countries, to be describednas merely defensive in theirnactions. During the time in which thenNazi-Soviet Pact of 1939 (which Stalinnhad sought since 1933) was in effect,nand after helping to bring Hitler tonpower through the German Communists,nthe Soviets slaughtered as manynPoles in their occupied area as thenGerman Nazis did in theirs.nLevine is reluctant to speak of thenSoviet Union as an extension of thenpre-revolutionary czarist regime; he insistsnon viewing that government as onenwith self-imposed geopolitical limits.nThough affected by nationalist and imperialistncurrents, czarist Russia at thenbeginning of the century was interestednnot in world control but in absorbingncontiguous regions and in Russianizingnsubject minorities. Levine also stressesnthe liberalizing tendencies operative innthe imperial government in the wake ofnthe Russo-Japanese War of 1905.nLooking at the establishment of a Russiannpariiament (the Duma), the legalizationnof political parties (including thenBolsheviks), and the land reforms begunnby the Russian statesman P.A.nStolypin in 1905, Levine concludes:n”Had peacetime economic developmentnand the reforms instituted aftern1905 continued undisturbed for twondecades, Russia might have peacefullynbecome an industrial constitutionalnmonarchy.”nLevine takes a relatively favorablenview of Russian internal developmentnon the eve of the First World War, andna relatively negative one of the democraticnleftist provisional regime fromnwhich the Bolsheviks took over in Novembern1917. His attitude is certainlynnot that of the sentimental czarist butnrather that of the clearheaded historian.nFormerly a student of William Blackwell,nthe Russian economic historian,nLevine accepts Blackwell’s documentednthesis that Russian economic modernization,nparticularly the development ofnheavy industry, was well underway byn1914. Yes, the czarist regime struck outnsporadically against Jews and other minorities,nbut it was also accepting bynthen a new political and social order;none in which the growing middle classnand a landed peasantry would hold thencards.nRussia’s ill-advised entry into thenFirst Worid War set into motion a chainnof events that brought revolution andneconomic, as well as political, disaster.nThe provisional government, broughtnto power by the first upheaval in Marchn1917, set the stage for the secondnupheaval that brought the Communistsnto power in November.nnnIts moderate socialist prime minister,nAlexander Kerensky, panicked, on thenbasis of questionable rumors, over annalleged plot led by Army commanderin-chiefnLavr Kornilov. Kerensky callednupon all forces of the left to save hisngovernment and allied himself withnBolshevik conspirators against rightcenternconstitutionalists. Lenin andnother Bolsheviks then dispensed withnKerensky in the mopping-up actionnknown as the “October Revolution.”nLevine, in the end, comes down onnthe side of those who interpret modernnSoviet expansion in terms of Marxistndogma. But he does qualify what innother hands might be served up as annanticommunist plat du jour. Thus, Levinennever denies that Lenin and Stalinnwere interested in “the reconquest ofnthe Russian Empire.” Having surrenderednconsiderable territory — whichnthe Allies did not return — to the occupyingnGerman armies in 1917 andn1918, Russian leaders were understandablynconcerned with retrievingnlost land. They also appealed to nationalistnfeelings among the Russiansnand among divided neighboring peoplesnwhose territory they coveted. Despitenits apparent incompatibility withnMarxist internahonalism, nationalismnwas a tool that the Soviets discoverednlong before Hitler attacked the “Russiannmotherland.”nBut Levine also stresses the applicationnof an expanding body of Marxist-nLeninist teaching to the expansionistnaims of the Soviet Union. His pointednreferences to Lenin’s writings duringnthe First World War are designed tonshow the conceptual foundation for annexpanding Soviet state. Fighting capitalistnimperialism, mobilizing socialistsnand socialist peoples against bourgeoisnsocieties, and waging wars of popularnliberation provided the Leninist justificationnfor the export of the Sovietnexperiment and of Soviet armies. Levinendoes not claim that Lenin’s interpretationnof Marxist revolutionarynpractices was the sole or perpetuallynoverriding force behind Soviet aggression.nRather, he seems to suggest that itnwas a leitmotiv that could be and wasninvoked by aggressive Soviet leaders,nwho at least half-believed in Marxism-nLeninism. This leitmotiv was alsonavailable to gull those who allowednthemselves to be fooled: for example,nWesterners who believed that thenJANUARY 1991/39n