Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A Quick Look at a Book Worth Reading - "Moscow and Beyond" by Andrei Sakharov

One of the books I received for Christmas was Moscow and Beyond (1986 to 1989) by Andrei Sakharov. This little volume constitutes the second part of his autobiography. The first half was published under the title Memoirs.

I found that seeing the events of 1986-1989 through the eyes of Sakharov give me new insight into the behind-the- scenes role that he played in the events that led to the dissolution of the USSR. It is clear that Sakharov's relationship with Gorbachev was an ambivalent one - full of mutual respect and mutual distrust.

I was intrigued by the local Boston connection to Sakharov. Several family memmbers and friends live in Newton and Westwood, and Sakharov did much of the writing and editing of this volume while staying in Newton.

As I finished reading this book, I felt as if I had savored an interesting appetizer. I can't wait to read Memoirs and experience the fullness of the main course.

Al Chase

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