Soviet-era Dissident Vladimir Bukovsky speaks at an opposition meeting in Moscow, 17 December 2007. Bukovsky is a potential united oppostion candidate for president in Russia’s March 2008 presidential elections. AFP PHOTO / ALEXEY SAZONOV (Photo credit should read Alexey SAZONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
One of the most famous enemies of Soviet communism is Vladimir Bukovsky. He was tortured by Soviet authorities. He spent many years in Soviet prisons. He was even declared “insane” and sent to a psychiatric prison. When Bukovsky was exiled to the West, people paid lip service to his courage; but few heeded his warnings about Gorbachev’s Perestroika.
Bukovsky reminded everyone that all Soviet leaders were liars. Gorbachev, he said, was no exception—and was certainly no democrat. Like Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev, Gorbachev was a liar and a hangman. But hardly anyone listened. Everyone wanted to believe the Cold War was over.
But how could we have won the Cold War? This was the inconvenient question Bukovsky asked. Random House senior editor Jason Epstein rejected Bukovsky’s question altogether. And so, Bukovsky’s book on the equivocal “fall of communism” was not published in English—until now.