On the 30th anniversary of Brezhnev’s death, the prime time Russian TV news programme Postscript (TV Centre channel) looked at the reputation of the long-serving Soviet leader.
Presumably wanting to find a Western angle, they must have dug around for a book on the subject. There aren’t many, so they ended up featuring Brezhnev Reconsidered, edited by me (Edwin Bacon) and Mark Sandle.
There are a couple of strange aspects to the screenshot of my book on Russian TV.
First, the fact that I even found out about Brezhnev Reconsidered featuring on the Postscript evening news programme. The programme makers were not in touch with me at any point, and I am not a regular watcher of Russian TV.
It just happened by chance that the same week as the broadcast, in November 2012, I met up for a coffee with a Russian scholar I know. She asked me if I had ever written anything about Brezhnev. When I told her about the book, she said something along the lines of — ‘I thought it was you. Your book was on TV this week’. I asked her for the details, watched the programme back online when I got home, and took the screenshot posted above.
Second, I still enjoy the text that accompanies my book on the screenshot above. For those of you who do not read Russian, this is what it says
American biographer of Brezhnev
<<Despite the fact that in his later years he [Brezhnev] constantly found himself in a lethargic dream, his contemporaries saw in him a wise pragmatist, the initiator of détente in relations between the two nuclear superpowers>>«Постскриптум» на телеканале «ТВ Центр», November 2012
Apart from a few aspects — I am not American, am not a biographer, and cannot find that quote anywhere in Brezhnev Reconsidered — I think that the text in the box is pretty valid …