From Publishers Weekly
This autobiography of a Soviet scientist works better as memoir than it does as insight into the biological threat that might exist from research done in the former Soviet Union. After a somewhat lengthy description of his childhood and early adult years in the 1930s and '40s, Domaradskij, now chief research fellow at the Moscow Gabrichevsky G.N. Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, depicts his rapid rise in the Soviet research system. For several decades, Domaradskij worked as an epidemiological researcher. Then in 1970 he was called to work on the Soviet secret biological weapons program. (He reiterates from firsthand knowledge what has long been known: when inconvenient, the Soviets simply ignored international treaties, such as those regarding banned weapons.) What comes through from his description of Biopreparat, as the program was known, is not its technological advances-Domaradskij admits that its major achievement has long since been scientifically superseded-but the petty bureaucracy of the Soviet system. As was the case throughout the Soviet Union, science took a back seat to politics, and personal advancement and greasing the palms of one's superiors took priority over cutting-edge research. Domaradskij bit his tongue for a while before speaking out against the program and eventually losing his prestigious position. In this sometimes laborious read, he shows how the Communist system's excesses eventually pushed a loyal-and rewarded-citizen into the status of a semidissident.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"This insightful account of a scientist-in-wonderland deserves wide readership...Highly recommended." -- Choice, March 2004
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"chilling...an informative addition to the growing body of Cold War Era information that has come to light..." -- Midwest Book Review's