For the past few years, Soviet historians have fixed their attention on the problem of "alternatives," a shorthand for wide-ranging attempts to free historical thinking from the overly determinist schemes of Stalinist orthodoxy. The question is posed most often as the possibility of a more humane alternative to Stalin and the political order associated with his name. Some historians and publicists, however, have gone beyond the Stalin period to reflect on, for example, how even the 1917 revolutions might have been avoided. The leadership under Mikhail Gorbachev and reformist allies among the intelligentsia have singled out the New Economic Policy, or NEP, as the legitimate socialist forerunner to the present reformist programs. In so doing, they approach consensus with an influential group of western historians, including Stephen Cohen, Moshe Lewin, and Robert Tucker, who have kept alive the memory of Nikolai Bukharin in particular, but a non-Stalinist path to socialism as well.