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By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
Topic - Yale University Press
It is hard to think of any other volume that provides as much information and insight into the nature of the Soviet system and its collapse as this book. Focusing on glasnost, (the opening up of public discourse by Mikhail Gorbachev about the failings and past history of the Soviet Union), Leon Aron presents a richly documented and riveting portrait of every aspect of the Soviet system based exclusively on Soviet-Russian sources, most of them probably unfamiliar even to American experts on Soviet affairs who read Russian.
''There are five kinds of actresses," wrote Mark Twain. "Bad actresses, fair actresses, good actresses, great actresses - and then there is Sarah Bernhardt." Among those who agreed were Sigmund Freud, D.H. Lawrence, Willa Cather, Lytton Stratchey. Her romances were famous; lovers included Napolean III, Edward the Prince of Wales and Victor Hugo.