This panoramic account of political culture in the Soviet Union, by one of the leading voices of unofficial radical socialism, examines the way in which cultural life in the arts, philosophy and historiography has been able to withstand the persistent efforts of the “statocracy” to extinguish independent thought.
"Kagarlitsky's analysis ... is the most acute and substantial so far available ... Among the utterly absorbing acts of witness now reaching us from the Soviet Union, this chronicle, with its proudly Pascalian title, occupies an eminent place."--George Steiner, The Sunday Times "An excellent cram course in Soviet intellectual history for the non-specialist civilian."--The Voice Literary Supplement
"This extraordinarily impressive book, full of surprising insights, shows the intensity of unofficial life behind officaldom."--Anthony Barnett, Observer
"The book succeeds on the strength of the author's conclusive demonstration of the vitality and variety of left democratic thought in the Soviet Union and by his elaborate mastery of the sources. The best of its kind."--Library Journal
"Ambitious, earnest, impassioned."--Washington Post