America the Baffling: How the Soviets See It

While intrigued by American freedoms, political plurality and cultural diversity, the Soviet leadership is unable to comprehend fully the mechanism of the U.S. political system. There is little grasp of the relationship of American Congressmen to their constituencies, the real role of public opinion and that worst bugaboo, freedom of information, which they see as a threat to security. The idealism of the American Revolution, carried over into both domestic and foreign policy more than 200 years later, the Soviets perceive as crippling naivete. Its manifestations sometimes make them doubt American seriousness. Because such institutions are nonexistent in their own country,...

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