Political Power: USA/USSR

Brzezinsky, Zbigniew and Samuel P. Huntington. Political Power: USA/USSR. New York: Viking Press, 1964.

“This is a stimulating study by two creative and productive young political scientists. Professor Brzezinski is the author of several important works on Soviet and Eastern European politics. Professor Huntington is a leading specialist in the field of civil-military relationships. This book, the authors explain in their preface, “is completely a joint product.” Unlike many such efforts, this one is highly successful, especially in its unusual and well integrated structure.

It is in many ways a pioneer work. In the first place, the study attempts to answer the question whether or not the American and Soviet political systems will “evolve” separately or “converge” and achieve a common pattern. This question is posed in the Introduction and is presumably the guiding principle of the selection and analysis of material throughout the study; the authors return explicitly to it in their Conclusion. Between the Introduction and Conclusion, there are nine chapters, four of which are devoted to a comparative analysis of the two political systems. The remaining five are “case studies” in what the authors entitle “The Dynamics of Power” and sub-title “Responses to Common Crises.” Slightly less than ten percent of the total number of pages of the book is devoted explicitly to the basic theme of convergence vs. evolution. In each of the nine chapters which constitute the bulk of the study approximately equal attention is given to the Soviet and American systems.”

– From a review in Yale Law Journal, Vol. 73, No. 8, Jul. 1964.