PROGRESS, COEXISTENCE AND INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM by Andrei B. Sakharov

PROGRESS, COEXISTENCE AND INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author is a top-ranking physicist and one of the foremost liberals in the Soviet Union, where he circulated earlier drafts of this text for discussion. There is nothing here in style or content to affront American liberals; indeed. Sakharov echoes Rockefeller, Kerner and the Kennedys in his insistence that the misery of blacks is not ""a class problem"" but a ""psychological one,"" the selfish refusal of ""racist"" white workers to pay for national (and international) wars on hunger. Ironically, he is more sanguine than the ""reformist bourgeois,"" whom he considers Russia's ""allies,"" about the economic health of the U.S. On the side of the angels with respect to censorship, political amnesty, and economic reform, Sakharov also describes and attacks Stalinism in what Salisbury describes as unprecedentedly strong terms; and deplores neo-Stalinism; and dissents from pro-Arab policy while giving unqualified support to the Czech liberals. His denunciation of police dictatorships focuses on Mao but ignores U.S.-sponsored regimes, a lacuna which undermines the feasibility of his proposal that ""the two super-powers"" eschew military export of ""revolution and counter-revolution"" and instead empower the U.N. to fight ""extreme"" racism, reaction, and militarism. Finally, he presents a scenario of the next thirty-odd years culminating in a rational orgy of international cooperation. It has been rendered less than conventional wisdom by the Czech invasion and the U.S. electoral scene. But of course the book retains its value as an exceptionally full manifesto of Soviet liberal thought. And its status as a Book-of-the-Month Club bonus selection.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1968
ISBN: 0393334589
Publisher: Norton