THE GREATEST SUBVERSIVE OF OUR TIME

Michael Ledeen on his blog at PJ Media on December 29, 2012, reminded us that December 30th is Vladimir Bukovsky’s seventieth birthday. He is the only Russian barred by special law from running for president, a tribute to his immense popularity and force of character. Among the great generation of democratic dissidents–the generation that punctured the monstrous Soviet bubble and produced the celebrated sucking sound that ended the Soviet Empire and gutted the world Communist movement–Bukovsky is arguably the most important. Excerpts below:

Bukovsky has a rare combination of toughness, common sense, and good humor. He never compromised with his oppressors, even though he was subjected to the KGB’s infamous psychological and biochemical torments during his years in prison and the camps.

His memoir, To Build a Castle, is one of the masterpieces of the period, and his subsequent works document the crimes of the Soviet state, the complicity of Western leaders who played useful idiots to the evil empire, and the survival of the Soviet vision in the European Union.

He organized an effective international organization, Resistance International, whose members ranged from German Greens to French “new philosophers,” a New York diamond merchant of blessed memory by the name of Bert Jolis, and the celebrated Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco.

In the final year of the Soviet Empire, Bukovsky organized five of us to write a novel, The Golden Convoy, that predicted the internal fission of the Soviet Union

The book, which culminates in a military coup in Moscow, was published in Russian a few weeks before the failed military coup. As the regime came tumbling down, The Golden Train was read on Moscow radio, to the great delight of the listeners, and it sold out in record time. Typically, no English-language publisher was willing to print it (too hard on Gorbachev, who is removed from office in the last chapter), nor could Bukovsky find an American or British publisher for his subsequent blockbuster Judgment in Moscow based on hitherto-secret documents from the Politburo archives.

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