"I'm going down to the beach to find Jim Libby. If you'll come along we'll have a prime sail; and most likely this is the last chance we shall have to go out with him, for his vessel leaves in the morning." "How can I go when I've got to mind this young one all the forenoon just 'cause the nurse must go an' have a sick headache? I don't believe she feels half as bad as I do!" And Walter Morse looked mournfully out over the blue waters with but little care for his baby sister, who was already toddling dangerously near the long flight of steps leading from the veranda of the large summer hotel. "Can't you coax off for a couple of hours?" the first speaker, Harry Vandyne, asked. "It's no use. Mother has gone to ride, and said I was to stay here until she came back." Harry started toward the beach, determined not to lose a single hour of pleasure because of his friend's engagements; but before he had taken half a dozen steps a sudden, and what seemed like a very happy thought, occurred to him.
Why did some Communist and Middle-Eastern dictatorships, those in China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Iraq, Libya and Iran, remained defiantly stable during the onset of a democratic age in the 1980s and early 1990s? The book offers an explanation based upon external relations - the regimes' defiance of external military or political foes - and then searches for alternative or supplementary explanations by examining the changes that occurred in these dictatorships' political structures, ideologies and economic policies during 1980-94.
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