- Hardcover: 726 pages
- Publisher: Ninth of November (14 May 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0998041629
- ISBN-13: 978-0998041629
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.8 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 1.2 Kg
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 166,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Judgment in Moscow: Soviet Crimes and Western Complicity Hardcover – 14 May 2019
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Russian interference in American politics didn't start in 2016, but stretches back decades. Vladimir Bukovsky uses the Kremlin's own documents to show this and much more: how the Soviet Union provided a false face to the world and how Soviet leaders used Western leaders as dupes or willing actors. Judgment in Moscow provides the written Nuremberg trial the Soviets never got when the USSR fell.
-Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag: A History (Pulitzer Prize)
Russian interference in Western politics has been in the news of late, but Bukovsky's deep dive into Soviet-era documents demonstrates that for much of the 20th century it was not paranoid fantasy, but cold, hard fact.
-Glenn Harlan Reynolds, author of An Army of Davids
The most important work to appear for decades on the Soviet empire and its aftermath.
-Edward Lucas, former senior editor of the Economist , from the introduction
A fascinating work which demolishes a few more myths prevalent in the West about the Soviet Union and the Cold War . . . stunning revelations.
-Richard Pipes, former director of Harvard's Russian Research Center and member of the National Security Council
A massive and major contribution . . . highly valuable material.
-Robert Conquest, author of The Great Terror and Harvest of Sorrow
At last, a book in the West that describes the Red Empire as seen by we who had to live under it.
-Mart Laar, former Prime Minister of Estonia and recipient of the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom
Judgment in Moscow is an essential warning of the dangers of collaborating with authoritarian regimes. It’s also a timeless reminder that evil doesn't die, but must be battled back constantly. The crimes of the Soviet Union were enabled by appeasement and rationalization by politicians in the free world who ignored that the lesser evil is still evil. Today we are witnessing a similar plunge into the depths of moral equivalence and convenient deals with dictatorships. As Bukovsky writes in Judgment in Moscow, using a word much in vogue today, “any sane person knows full well when he has entered into collusion with evil.
Vladimir Bukovsky's moral compass has never failed, always pointing at the truth regardless of the circumstances or consequences. No one has written with greater clarity on why engagement between the free world and despots spreads corruption, not freedom. He writes, "The voice of conscience whispers that our fall began from the moment we agreed to 'peaceful coexistence' with evil." We have fallen far indeed, and Judgment in Moscow holds the mirror of history up to politicians today proclaiming the need to find common ground with a dictator like Vladimir Putin.
-Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion and author of Winter is Coming
After 23 years of underhand censorship, Vladimir Bukovsky's Judgment in Moscow has finally appeared in English. In 1995, thanks to his access to the secret documents of the Soviet Communist Party and the KGB, he was the first to reveal in detail how the totalitarian USSR misled and manipulated Western public opinion and, by corrupting its politicians and supporting guerrilla groups and terrorists, sought to subvert and destroy democracy. This is a fundamental historical study and major testimony by one of the great dissidents.
-Stéphane Courtois, editor of The Black Book of Communism
About the Author
One of the most widely-known prisoners of conscience in the Soviet Union, whom The New York Times called "a hero of almost legendary proportions," Vladimir Bukovsky was expelled from Moscow University at age 19 for publishing criticism of a state youth program. By the time he was 35, he had spent a total of twelve years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and ersatz psychiatric hospitals for a series of protests and leaked documents.
After his expulsion to the West in 1976, he accepted an invitation to continue his interrupted studies at Cambridge University, where he earned a master's degree in biology. His status as a leading irritant to the Soviet government was ensured by the publication in 1978 of his powerful bestselling prison memoir To Build a Castle, recently re-released in digital format.
Bukovsky continued for decades to write and speak about the dangerous abuses of state power. Having experienced brutal forced feeding through the nose during hunger strike himself, he warned post-9/11 America in a Washington Post essay that torture also traumatizes its perpetrators: "Our rich experience in Russia has shown that many will become alcoholics or drug addicts, violent criminals or, at the very least, despotic and abusive fathers and mothers."
Even into his seventies and despite failing health, he has continued to be a burr under the saddle of Russian leaders. In 2014 his testimony helped the British inquiry into the murder by radiation poisoning of his friend, Alexander Litvinenko, conclude that President Putin had likely sanctioned the killing.
Bukovsky sees Russian leadership not as a series of changing regimes, but as an unbroken chain of murderous meddling at home and abroad. After the 2018 radiation poisoning of military intelligence defector Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England, he quipped: "If two cruise missiles were to be launched at the Lubyanka, the level of terrorism worldwide would drop by approximately 80 percent."
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He was a Soviet dissident who spent over a decade in gulags, labor camps and psychiatric wards opposing Communism.
He was such a problem for the Russian Politburo that they exiled him abroad. Since then, he has remained active fighting for freedom, either by advising for President Reagan's administration, his friendship with Prime Minister Thatcher, or his more recent run for President of Russia.
Bukovsky warned almost 30 years ago that the Communists in the Kremlin must be held accountable for their crimes--he advocated for a Nuremberg like trial--warning that without that the Communist and KGB threat wouldn't be defeated. But no one wanted to listen. His predictions, as usual, have been vindicated to an incredible degree. One only need look at KGB "jackal" Putin in the Kremlin, or at the rise of Communist Bernie Sanders and AOC in America.
This book draws on his time in Russia during the fall of the USSR which he spent digging through mounds of classified Central Committee documents. He stole them, analyzed them, and gave us this book.
This book quotes extensively from primary documents of the Russian Politburo and Central Committee that were previously not available to Americans. The documents repeatedly show that Russian Communists compromised or "colluded" with the Western Establishment over a period of decades. In the process they corrupted the West quite thoroughly.
Bukovsky actually wrote this book for publication in 1995 where it was published throughout Europe and Russia, but American publishers refused to publish it! It was too damaging to the American Establishment!
Bukovsky's history, now finally available to Americans, is necessary to understanding geopolitics today. Give it a careful read.
It is marketed as exposing hidden documents from Soviet archives. And it does. But it was written years ago, by a Russian, in Russian, primarily for a Russian audience. Some of the documents it chooses to expose are presumably of great significance to those who lived through the Soviet tyranny, the Cold War, and its aftermath. Others will interest cold-war historians or Bukovsky biographers. But few still are -- and some never were -- of much interest to a general American audience. (One gets the impression that Bukovsky would acknowledge, and lament, that they may no longer be of interest even to a general Russian audience.)
Though the book mentions broad themes it is intensely personal and emotional, devoted to re-fighting Bukovsky's past battles. The Soviet documents it quotes from are selected to show that he was right after all, his opponents and critics wrong. Those were important battles and the war they were part of has not ended. But the battles themselves, though they understandably remain sharp in the memories of those who fought them, are otherwise largely forgotten.
Bukovsky does discuss why the Soviet archives have never really been opened and studied. This is an important subject but in the context of the book is background information, explained in passing to show why the documents he uses had to be copied surreptitiously.
The latter portions of the book consist of Bukovsky's interpretation of late-cold-war and subsequent events, less supported by documents. That analysis, insofar as it concerns America, is that America had little or nothing to do with the fall of the Soviet Union but everything to do with its replacement by various thugocracies. That is because Americans are gullible and stupid. (This summarizes his remarks but probably does not overstate them; he cannot be accused of pulling punches.) Bukovsky, though he takes pains to present himself as a man of insight and sophistication, shares the shallow, juvenile view of Americans popular among the circles of European "intelligensia" he has frequented. This even though he demonstrates that the views of such circles were shaped by the Soviets. (In fairness, he may have learned this attitude as a boy; Russians -- to join Bukovsky in using a broad brush -- are never far from the imaginings of their youth.)
(How was it, Americans being so inferior, that their nation became the richest and most powerful? "Geographic specifics." Bukovsky does not explain what those "specifics are; apparently, however, the small, isolated Soviet/Russian landmass lacks them.)
I have no Russian but the translation seems good. The similarity of Bukovsky's writing to Solzhenitsyn's is perhaps due to the nature of Russian prose. The Soviet documents are turgid and vague; no doubt they were in the original as well, though occasionally it appears that Soviet bureaucratic lingo defies clear translation.
This edition of the book tells the story of why it was not published by Random House in 1995. It is, unfortunately, entirely plausible that an editor blocked it because he disagreed with Bukovsky's politics and did not want to insult such solons as Cyrus Vance and Francis Ford Coppola. But the book would surely have had an easier road to publication were it a better book, more a revealing factual analysis and less an emotional rant.
Bukovsky said he wrote this to prove that what was suspected in the USSR was in fact absolutely true, to offer absolute proof, to offer also proof of the shocking complicity of the United States in that oppression in cases previously unknown or even dreamed of in the West. But the proof on even a more rock solid basis I found, am finding in reading on is the proof that real courage still exists in this world; the existence of this book proves THAT. If you really want to know the truth you HAVE to read this book.