Shcharansky: Hero of Our Time

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Shcharansky: Hero of Our Time

By Martin Gilbert
Viking, 1986
467 pp. $24.95
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A substantial biography, written with admiration and respect for its subject, the Soviet dissident Anatoly Shcharansky, and also with the apparent hope that telling the world of his struggle for his right and that of other Jews to emigrate from the U.S.S.R. to Israel would increase the pressure for his release. The book was completed just at the time he was let go, after nine years of incarceration, in February 1986. Based largely on Shcharansky's letters to his wife and mother and testimony of fellow "refuseniks," the narrative dramatizes their harrowing personal experience and bears witness to the methods of the KGB in dealing with dissent. In prison and labor camps Shcharansky endured great physical suffering and at the same time grew in mind and spirit.

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