Soviet Union Introducing Glasnost Giggles

A literary satire takes on the bureaucracy

"You are forever telling them ((local officials)) to go forward," says the fictional letter to Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, "but you never explain which way is forward. They themselves have no idea." That jest might not earn so much as a chuckle in a Johnny Carson monologue or an Art Buchwald column, but in the Soviet Union, where satirizing state officials can be harmful to one's health, the letter is a comedic landmark of sorts. Its appearance in the March issue of Theater, a glossy literary monthly, may mark the first time | that the name of a sitting Soviet leader...

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