Lithuania Awakening

Alfred Erich Senn, Author University of California Press $40 (238p) ISBN 978-0-520-07170-4
The mass demonstrations that shook Lithuania in 1988 touched off a national rebirth, triggering a public outcry for an end to a half-century of Soviet rule. Senn, a University of Wisconsin historian, visited Lithuania in '88, and his detached, eyewitness account of that pivotal year provides a key to understanding the nationalist and ethnic ferment sweeping the Soviet Union. We watch as Stalin's murders and deportations become a topic for open discussion; as ecological concerns and rock music galvanize Lithuania's youth; and as people clamor for making Lithuanian the official language and for teaching the nation's history in the schools. One arm of the protest, Sajudis, evolved from a discussion group to a mass movement, while another faction, the Freedom League, demanded national independence, setting the stage for the recent showdown with Gorbachev. Photos. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
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