Another survey of Soviet offenses against human rights and constitutionality. It comes from an exile involved in trials and...

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TO DEFEND THESE RIGHTS: Human Rights and the Soviet Union

Another survey of Soviet offenses against human rights and constitutionality. It comes from an exile involved in trials and publications of samizdat (underground) writers. The book was first published in Russian, in the U.S., by the Khronika Press. The author ranges from censorship to minority rights to the political abuse of mental hospitals. This is generally familiar material. Chalidze adds an emphasis on Soviet court procedures, and the wacky syllogisms employed by judges and lawyers. This emphasis becomes self-defeating, since even relatively naive or firmly anti-Communist readers can call to mind dozens of equally extravagant Western legal cases. The book, indeed, exudes a certain childishness. Chalidze sticks to His Native Land And Its Injustices instead of applying his passionate, and sardonic, moral judgment to the entire international situation. First of all, everyone in the West has been pelted for decades with reports of these (and worse) Soviet injustices. The intended audience of readers -- whether liberal or right-wing -- who like to feel smug about U.S.S.R. horrors has, unlike Chalidze, been swept into a wider and more immediate world crisis.

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1974