SOViET LAW AND SOVIET REALITY. By Olimpiad S. Ioffe.t Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1985. Pp. 1, 229. $45.50.
Sometimes the Soviet legal system resembles an elephant that has taken care to blind its observers. Soviet lawyers and law teachers, inhibited by training, interest, or caution, tend to turn out celebratory declamation; emigres cherish the particular truth of their own grievances; Western correspondents hit and run; foreign jurists do justice to special injustices or produce descriptive summaries of Soviet texts that have emerged through filters of concealment, omission, exaggeration, and circumlocution. Yet the elephant is a whole animal and is on the move, and every now and then a naturalist comes along who strives to convey a notion of the shape and motion of the whole living animal.
Leon S. Lipson,
The Laws of Rule in the Soviet Union,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol11/iss1/13