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Moscow and Beyond: 1986 to 1989 Paperback – April 14, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This is the second and last volume of memoirs of the Soviet physicist who created the hydrogen bomb and later won a Nobel Peace prize. Freed from exile by Gorbachev, Sakharov became an ardent voice for democratic reform, environmental concern, and rights for Soviet minorities. Through meetings abroad with foreign leaders and visits to troubled Soviet borderlands, he developed a new public role. Elected as a delegate of the Academic of Sciences to the 1989 Congress of People's Deputies, he became a prominent figure in the national debate over perestroika. The closing chapters in the life of one of the world's leading scientists and humanitarians belongs with the first volume, Memoirs ( LJ 6/1/90), in all libraries. Memoirs is one of LJ' s "Best Books of 1990"; see the "Best Books" article beginning on p. 50--Ed.
- Rena Fowler, Northern Michigan Univ., Marquette
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (April 14, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679739874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679739876
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,601,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This book was written before a gigantic economic collapse wiped out the savings of people in the Soviet Union who were hardly prosperous, but were highly aware that the rest of the world was leaving them behind in the quest for material comforts. At the time, "Wages represent only 37-38 percent of our gross national product--for the rest of the developed world that figure is 70 percent and over." (p. 142). Parallels with present problems that continue to bother people who consider continuous progress an economic necessity of the first order might occur to any reader who is willing to think that the design of thermonuclear devices, for which the author, Andrei Sakharov, is famous, might be trivial compared to the kind of chain reactions which monetary policy produces. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a main character in this book, and Sakharov's attempt to tell him what needed to be done on June 1, 1989, reflects how rigidly the old system clung to "achievement of unlimited personal power." (p. 133) This book suggested Sakharov's solution: "In brief, economic reform is practicable only if there are changes in the character of ownership in agriculture and industry, if the Party's and state's stranglehold on power is ended and if the highway robbery practiced by the central committees is eliminated." (p. 130).
Global capitalism is not what it used to be. Those who have taken control have pushed the envelope of subjugation and economic strangulation so far that it is difficult to refute the idea that the west supported the looting of the public assets in the former Soviet Union with the observation that those who were previously capable of highway robbery merely found an economic method for maintaining this power, as well as greatly increasing their wealth.
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