The Final Act: The Dramatic, Revealing Story of the Moscow Helsinki Watch Group

Paul Goldberg, Author William Morrow & Company $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-06859-2
When the Soviet Union signed the Helsinki Agreements on human rights in 1975, physicist Yuri Orlov, Anatoly Shcharansky, Yelena Bonner and Aleksandr Ginzburg formed a group whose declared purpose was to monitor the U.S.S.R.'s compliance with the accord. Playing cat-and-mouse with the authorities even as they were being infiltrated by Kremlin moles, this gutsy band of intellectuals was soon catapulted into the arena of superpower politics. Their protests, reported in the Western press, became a chip in President Carter's bargaining with Moscow. The Moscow-Helsinki Watch Group attracted Russian nationalists, Zionists, Catholics, Pentecostals and ethnic separatists to the cause. Similar movements sprang up from the Ukraine to Poland; but, by 1982, the outcome for most of the dissidents was imprisonment or forced silence. Goldberg, a freelance journalist, draws on Russian-language sources and interviews to recreate the dissidents' conversations and maneuvering in great detail. It's a remarkable story of blind courage in the face of overwhelming odds. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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