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Understanding the Other Side

July 26, 1987

To avoid confusion among your readers that may well have resulted from the recent review of our book, it is important to note that unlike the other two books reviewed by Dimitri Simes (The Book Review, June 28), "The Other Side: How Soviets and Americans Perceive Each Other" intentionally draws no conclusions; we leave this to the judgment of our readers. Ours is, admittedly, an unusual book; rather than try to convince readers that we have "the answer" to improving U. S.-Soviet relations, we use the book to present excerpts from a wide range of Soviet and American sources so that readers can understand how perceptions are shaped and reinforced in both Soviet and American society.

We certainly appreciate the reviewer's comments that the book "avoids simplistic assumptions" and is "balanced and insightful." We regret, however, that he inaccurately describes it as a book that "focuses on American misconceptions." As indicated by the title--and made abundantly clear throughout the book--"The Other Side" examines and compares Soviet perceptions of the U. S. with American perceptions of the Soviet Union. Other volumes in our "Beyond the Kremlin" series will look at issues ranging from the role of the military in Soviet society to women in the Soviet Union.


Senior Analyst


Program Director

The Committee for National


Washington D.C.

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