The brief conclusion to Sakharov's Memoirs (p. 490), with this volume covering the three years before the physicist's death in 1989. The title is apt: for the first time, during the late 1980's, Sakharov was allowed to travel outside of the USSR as far as the US, where his stepson and his wife—who were instrumental in seeing his previous memoirs published here—reside. The end of Sakharov's exile in Gorky and the onset of perestroika ensured that demand for Sakharov's presence and comments would increase. As a result, these final memoirs consist almost entirely of descriptions of the interviews, conferences, and political sessions in which Sakharov was involved, along with statements of his political positions on SDI, nuclear energy, political prisoners, etc., during those years—more an official diary than a personal revelation. The interest here, then, lies mostly in the impact on a thinking man's life of such an enormous wave of celebrity. Those more concerned with the human rights leader's deeper ruminations and motivations will do fine with the previous volume alone. Publication coincides with the first anniversary of the author's death.
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