In the Gunsight of the KGB

Alexander A. Ushakov, Author Alfred A. Knopf $22.95 (273p) ISBN 978-0-394-56284-1
In the winter of 1984 the author, a university professor in Odessa, learned that he was to be arrested for his anti-Soviet views. He struck off into the Caucasus mountains, breached the heavily guarded Soviet-Turkish border and eventually made his way to the U.S., settling in Virginia. His account of the trek is a remarkable adventure story, but there are two other elements that are equally interesting: his scathing denunciation of the Soviet system, which is at the same time a detailed reminiscence of life in a country he calls ``a kingdom of unmarked graves, dungeons, and concentration camps''; and his delighted views on America, its mores, its people. Ushakov is a contentious fellow of strong opinions and a rollicking sense of humor, and it comes as no surprise that the only thing about America he finds hard to take are liberals who are ``soft on Communism.'' For all his prickly humor and thunderous condemnations, the book offers a fresh view of conditions in the Soviet Union in the early 1980s and blunt predictions about the death of Marxism. Illustrations. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/06/1989
Release date: 07/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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