Moscow human rights defenders look West: attitudes toward U.S. journalists in the 1960s and 1970s.
Key to the attitudes of Moscow human rights defenders toward the U.S. journalists who reported on their activities was the profound isolation of Soviet citizens from the West, indeed from the rest of the world, that was a major component of Stalinism and post-Stalinism. It made those comparatively few foreigners who came to the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s stand out vividly among the Soviets even in cosmopolitan Moscow. For reasons closely associated with that isolation, dissident attitudes toward the journalists were distinguished by a peculiar intensity, whatever direction they might take. Some dissident-journalist associations triggered great enthusiasm; some involved a kind of self-conscious and self-interested exchange of professional favors or were straightforwardly instrumental in nature; while yet others led to a distinct personal hostility on the part of certain human rights activists that challenges any simple notion of how those associations worked. This article traces the emergence and meaning of such attitudes, placing them in the context of Soviet history and culture more broadly.
I argue that for us to attempt an understanding of dissident views of Western reporters, we need first to explore the ways in which dissenters saw themselves and one another in relation to Soviet culture and society. For their attitudes toward foreign correspondents were rooted in a highly complex sense of what it meant to be Soviet and what it meant to be part of the dissident movement, of who were insiders and who outsiders in relation to both identities. For the identities of Soviet dissenters as both Soviets and as dissenters were in rapid flux during this period, and visiting Westerners, including U.S. journalists, not fully aware of the cultural dynamics with which they were engaging, could become caught up in that flux as the boundaries between inside and outside both the dissent movement and Soviet society were complicated and blurred.
Inside and Outside Soviet Identity and the Emergence of Dissent
The historical origins of Soviet isolation are complex, going back at least to the 1920s, both building on and contributing to a many-layered sense of what it meant to be Soviet in relation with the outside world--fascinated by the outside yet defensive, enthusiastic yet suspicious, imbued with a sense of uneasy backwardness and weakness combined with a powerful desire for self-assurance and pride. (2) This was a peculiarly Soviet phenomenon, as opposed to Russian imperial; whereas Russians in the empire had traditionally been wary of attack by outsiders for centuries and had long debated the pros and cons of Western influence, concerns about relations with the West were greatly sharpened with the Bolshevik takeover. No longer was Russia ruled by a dynasty with strong royal Western ties. Instead, it was ruled by a revolutionary group that seemed to pose a considerable threat to Western governments and therefore invited their hostility, including invasion by several Western powers during the Civil War. The Bolshevik response was a kind of drawing in, a voluntary isolation on the part of the state that became involuntary isolation for Soviet citizens. Soon after the Bolshevik coup in 1917, it became increasingly difficult for most Soviet citizens to travel abroad freely. By the same token, the entry of foreigners into the Soviet Union was increasingly controlled, as were relations between Soviets and foreigners who were in the country. This simple fact of physical separation had an impact all its own.
Increasing the self-conscious intensity of Soviet reactions to foreigners was a complex sense of insider- and outsiderhood that had been shaped by the difficult and painful permutations in the development of Soviet identity especially under Iosif Stalin. Stalin encouraged a highly defensive sense of Soviet identity in the 1930s and 1940s, as he sought to establish the principle of "Socialism in One Country": that the Soviet Union could achieve modernity and socialism despite the absence of world revolution, and that this was necessary in the face of outside hostility not just toward the socialist Soviet Union but toward Russia traditionally. "One feature of the history of old Russia was the continual beatings she suffered because of her backwardness. She was beaten by the Mongol khans. She was beaten by the Turkish beys. She was beaten by the Swedish feudal rulers. She was beaten by the Polish and Lithuanian gentry. She was beaten by French and British capitalists. She was beaten by Japanese barons. All beat her," he raged in 1931. (3) Though he had no doubt momentarily forgotten that Russia had also eventually beaten the Mongols, the Swedes, and others, not to mention Napoleon, he thus offered an emotionally potent argument for Soviet wariness of a hostile outside world.
Stalin's purges in the later 1930s further deepened the question of insiders and outsiders, of who was a loyal Soviet citizen and who a traitor. (4) The repeated and highly publicized searches for saboteurs, for "enemies of the people," helped create a vast new category of supposedly deceptive outsiders who looked like insiders. The question of insiders and outsiders grew even more dangerous before, during, and after World War II, as Stalin's deep anxiety about a fifth column among any of the many ethnic groups with (or without) cause to resent his power led him brutally to transport across the Eurasian continent whole national categories of people such as the Balts, the Volga Germans, and the Crimean Tatars.
The state-supported "anti-cosmopolitan" movement following the war heightened the tension for a Soviet ethnic group that was to provide a large corps of participants to the dissent movement, as well as the refusenik movement, in later years: Soviet Jews. The educated Jewish community, whose members had generally seen themselves as full and loyal citizens of the Soviet state due to the Bolshevik rejection of the antisemitism and the pogroms of the tsarist era, experienced considerable shock in the face of growing antisemitism following World War II. For Jews now came to be seen as outsiders on the basis of potential conflicting national loyalties. Dina Kaminskaya, later a lawyer for dissidents until she was exiled from the Soviet Union, eloquently describes the trauma of the so-called "Doctors' Plot" (Stalin falsely accused his medical doctors, most of them Jewish by ethnicity, of seeking his assassination), and the extent to which it set her apart from her non-Jewish countrymen in a lasting way. (5) Ida Nudel wrote of the same period: "Suddenly, everything changed. On one terrible day, January 13, 1953, the press labeled us 'murderers in white robes.' Stalin tried to annihilate the Jewish community and concocted a terrible tale about Jewish doctors murdering Soviet people. Thus we were declared guilty.... No one smiled at me." (6) Some non-Jews among the dissidents-to-be were affected in similar ways; Yuri Orlov describes how he was frequently taken for Jewish due to his physical appearance, and how he refused to deny Jewish identity when he was asked about it. (7) The placement of Jewish Soviet citizens outside the Soviet body politic had a significant impact on future dissidents' sense of insider- and outsiderhood.
Yet these painful questions about what it meant to be loyal Soviets did not lead to an embrace of the Western world among emerging human rights defenders. Due perhaps in part precisely to the isolation of the Soviet Union from Westerners and Western ideas, the early Moscow human rights movement was distinctly indigenous and inward-looking in nature. The movement arose without notable Western involvement among the kompanii, the liberal intelligentsia networks and circles of the 1950s. (8) The kompaniia phenomenon, which began to take shape in the years following Stalin's death in 1953, led to increasing social and national self-examination among its participants, beginning with readings not of Western human rights documents such as, say, the works of John Locke but rather of internally more pertinent materials such as the works of Lenin and Marx by some, and 19th-century Russian literature and philosophy by others. (9) Growing discontent, fed by Khrushchev's Secret Speech in 1956, led to the emergence of the samizdat movement of underground publication, which made accessible to a certain range of urban intellectuals much written material that could not be published officially. Here too the early focus was more on materials that were internally pertinent--such as memoirs and poetry of the Stalin era, oppositional political documents, and Soviet literature that could not be published due to censorship--than on Western materials on human rights. (10)
At the same time, against the background of the broader system of social webs that was the Moscow liberal intelligentsia, certain of these circles began to develop their own sense of dissenting insider identity, as their participants found themselves increasingly tightly bound to one another and dependent on one another for the comfort of open political communication. This was a kind of ghetto insiderhood, insofar as participants found themselves increasingly at odds with their society, though their self-understanding was inevitably influenced by the political and historical context of that society. A more positive community identity began to emerge in the mid- to late 1960s through the expression of a group ethos and narrative of (samo)zhertvovanie--(self-)giving and/or (self-)sacrifice. This ethos motivated many dissenters to give of themselves in one way or another for the human rights cause, from donating clothing for political prisoners to submitting themselves to the dangers to health and life that were part of arrest by the state. Or if they did not do so, they thought they should--or that others should. It became a vital feature of the movement even insofar as a kind of counter-narrative of the selfish, self-interested dissident also achieved currency, as I have argued elsewhere. (11) The close attention paid in the community to the presence or absence of (samo)zhertvovanie among its members in itself signaled the great importance of the theme among those seeking to form community in dissent.
This central theme of identity in (samo)zhertvovanie both reflected and contradicted aspects of Soviet society more broadly. It reflected the official Soviet doctrine of selfless altruism in the common socialist cause, but it also contradicted the natural reality of self-interest that governed relations all around the human rights activists, from the culture of barter and material exchange of the second economy to the ambitions and career goals of many of their more conforming fellow intellectuals. Most dissenters believed themselves to be deeply loyal Soviet citizens, in many ways more loyal and committed than some of their ambitious or even greedy compatriots. Yet they would soon come to be regarded as traitors in the Soviet media and by many Soviet citizens. Though a few may have experienced the transition to dissenter insiderhood as a natural and seamless process, it was in many ways a challenging and inherently unsettling development from the standpoint of Soviet identity.
Dissident Impressions of Westerners in General: Freedom, Generosity, and Partisanship
Memoirs and recent interviews with former Moscow human rights defenders indicate that the alienness cited by Alexeyeva in her comment quoted at the beginning of this essay was the first impression that most Westerners made on most Soviets during the early formative years of dissident consciousness. Through appearance and behavior, Westerners signaled themselves as being distinctly outside the Soviet community. The dissident Pavel Litvinov began to encounter and think about Westerners for the first time in college, at Moscow University. "When I was at the university I knew some foreigners. I was about 18, I could always tell them apart," he said in an interview in 2005. This sense of apartness led directly to the question of exactly how they were so different which led in turn to the question of what kind of people exactly the Russians themselves were. How were foreigners in fact different? "A kind of style, a naturalness and freedom. They talked louder than we did, they weren't embarrassed by certain things. I remember there was one well-known American and he came barefoot out of his room and walked barefoot down the corridor. Nobody did that in a Moscow University dormitory--but he just walked out freely." (12)
This sense of freedom was a vital component of Soviet impressions of Westerners. It caused Litvinov to think about how Russians did not seem to him to demonstrate that quality: "In the subway I would notice how foreigners talked louder, but Russians more quietly ... I mean naturalness of behavior. Russian people often withhold their reactions.... We are shy, but the foreigner ups and says what he is thinking." (13) To Litvinov and to others, this sense of freedom was an attractive quality. Ludmilla Alexeyeva expressed a similar impression but analyzed it more closely in her memoir The Thaw Generation. The quotation placed at the beginning of this article continues: "Foreigners were easy to spot on a Moscow street, and not just because they were better dressed than the Russians. The distinction was in the faces. The foreigners' faces were not marred by fear, concern, and suspicion." (14) For her, it was an issue of political culture. Russians contrasted so sharply with foreigners because "foreigners" had not experienced the same repressive political system. They were more free in a political sense, and this had a beneficial influence on their demeanor. The physical appearance of freedom could be powerfully attractive to those Soviets questioning Soviet social and political control and seeking new identities in the context of that control.
Yet it is worth noting that among some, there was also a sense that the Western experience of freedom was not entirely deserved. This has come out in discussions of Western literature, for example, as when one interviewee commented that she and her friends had felt that American readers of J. D. Salinger were unable fully to understand and appreciate him in the way that Russians in their repressive social and political system could. In this case there was a sense of superiority combined with a sense of injustice: U.S. citizens did not fully grasp the worth of or take full advantage of their own freedom. (15) One encounters a similar notion in the Czech author Milan Kundera's commentary on Western culture as compared with Central European. In his "The Tragedy of Central Europe" he conveys the sense that Westerners have squandered their easy freedom on consumer indulgences and have lost their dedication to culture:
When all the reviews [literary journals] in Czechoslovakia were liquidated, the entire nation knew it, and was in a state of anguish because of the immense impact of the event. If all the reviews in England or France disappeared, no one would notice it, not even their editors. In Paris, even in a completely cultivated milieu, during dinner parties people discuss television programs, not reviews. For culture has already bowed out. Its disappearance, which we experienced in Prague as a catastrophe, a shock, a tragedy, is perceived in Paris as something banal and insignificant, scarcely visible, a non-event. (16)
Although it should be noted that for Kundera the Soviet Union was itself a kind of bastion of barbarism, that impression of Western freedom and its Western abuse could give rise to a sense of resentment among educated Soviets as well as among educated East Bloc citizens.
Yet there were permutations to that impression of Western freedom that could lead to a curious and contradictory development: an unexpected and significant mitigation of the perceived alienness and outsider status of at least some Westerners, and at least honorary integration into dissenter insider status as perceived by some dissenters. This was because Western foreigners also represented to many Soviets who met them a kind of freedom of generosity that stemmed from their access to the outside world and to greater wealth. They offered information about the outside world, for one thing: "[F]oreigners became for us more than anything sources of information," as they offered much-desired glimpses of an unknown and much speculated-upon outside world. (17) Some Westerners became sources of material goods unavailable to common Soviet citizens as well, not just of the odd bottle of alcohol from the beriozka (state-run shop selling Western consumer products for Western currency) but of books, clothing (especially jeans, of course), and technology. Some of these gifts were mailed or brought for personal use, but some were donated for the purpose of sale in the Soviet unofficial economy to support impoverished Soviets, usually intellectuals who were having trouble with the state and therefore with employment. One fascinating example was the gift of Western glossy coffee table books on art, design, and so on, which could be purchased in Western Europe, could be shipped relatively cheaply and safely, and could easily be sold on the Soviet black market. (18) These acts of generosity might have seemed on the surface to have been simple acts of free charity (if there is such a thing), yet they could draw foreigners living in Moscow into complex and powerful relationships of Soviet-style gift and barter, as foreigners gained social access and emotional engagement through such gifts. Thus such foreigners could come to be perceived as insiders, as allies or partisans of a sort by virtue of their outsider generosity and wealth.
Yet another path to perceived insider status for some Westerners that would become especially important to human rights activity throughout the late 1960s was aid in overcoming the barriers to discourse and other interaction with the outside world. Such support included carrying letters and manuscripts across the Soviet border to the West, as well as money and information that might be politically touchy. This could be dangerous for Westerners and the willingness of some of them, especially those in the diplomatic corps, to risk jobs and physical safety and emotional peace of mind made a deep impression on some dissenters. (19) As generous expressions of Western freedom, such supportive activities helped create a sense of what might be described as a kind of communality between some Westerners and some dissenters. As the human rights activist Aleksandr Podrabinek put it in an interview: "those mutual goals, that general atmosphere, it's very hard to convey in words.... [I]t was an astonishing atmosphere that Western people fell into. People with responsive [otzyvchivye] hearts, they were drawn into it, they became a part of that atmosphere, part of that dissident culture, they were even participants, to a greater or lesser degree." (20)
That most of the encounters between Westerners and Soviets took place in the domestic sphere (i.e., people's homes) also helped integrate some Westerners into perceived insider status. The domestic sphere was a traditional site in Russian intelligentsia culture for alliance-building of both a personal and more professional or public nature, though many Westerners may not have understood this. (21) Although it was more usual for Westerners to immerse themselves in the social life of certain Soviet circles (Dutch visitors became particularly famous for purchasing tourist visas and paying for the required official hotel stays but actually moving into the homes of Soviet friends for weeks at a time), the reverse took place as well. Some Westerners invited Soviets, especially Moscow intellectuals, to their elite Western accommodations for dinners and other domestic events and celebrations. The domestic localities of these encounters also contributed to a sense, whether real or imaginary, of communality between certain Westerners and certain members of the Moscow liberal elite.
Yet coming to be perceived as insiders and thus partisans of a sort could subject Westerners to certain expectations. Through their supportive activities such Westerners perhaps created a sense of entitlement on the Soviet side. Given Westerners' freedom, wealth, and access to the outside world, to some inside the Soviet Union they appeared actually to owe a degree of personal partisan commitment. Intensifying that feeling among some in the dissent milieu was the internal transformation in the human rights movement itself with the emergence and strengthening of the ethos of (samo)zhertvovanie that is described above. In their free generosity some Westerners appeared to commit themselves to that ethos of self-giving or self-sacrifice in the pursuit of Soviet human rights--as indeed some most wholeheartedly did. Yet Soviets may at times have overestimated the degree of Westerner engagement with the dissident cause because, given their ignorance of the original context of Western wealth and freedom, it was difficult for them to calculate the meaning of Western material and other contributions.
It was against this complex background of relations between human rights activists and Westerners more generally that relations between the activists and U.S. journalists, whose associations with the Soviets were more directly determined by professional obligations than those of many other Westerners, would develop.
Growing Relations with U.S. Journalists
While the human rights movement in Moscow began as an indigenous one, the crucial historical moment of internal transformation from groups of friends to a political movement of human rights defenders was also more or less the moment at which politically significant contacts with Western journalists began to develop. This was during the Yuli Daniel-Andrei Siniavskii trial in 1966. Daniel and Siniavskii, Soviet authors, had both sent literary work critical of the Soviet system to be published abroad under pseudonyms and were sentenced to prison-camp terms as a result of what was described by the Soviet state and the Soviet press as their traitorous actions. ("The enemies of Communism have found what they wanted: two outcasts motivated by shamelessness and hypocrisy," ran a typically outraged commentary in Izvestiia, proclaiming the outsiderhood of dissenters to Soviet power. "Under the guise of the pen names Abraham Tertz and Nikolai Arzhak, for several years they covertly supplied foreign publishers with filthy pasquils on their country, the party and the Soviet system.") (22) It was the trial itself that first led to extensive contact with Western reporters. While Western reporters had been at an earlier demonstration at Pushkin Square in support of the two authors, events had transpired too quickly there for dissidents and U.S. journalists to make contact. But at the trial, into which no witnesses were allowed other than family members along with "select" members of the Soviet citizenry to pack the remaining benches, a few kompaniia members began to stand vigil outside the courthouse. Nearby stood an array of Western journalists covering the trial.
Although at first the two groups merely eyed each other, kompaniia members evidently liked what they saw in part because the journalists gave a strong impression of commitment to the cause of covering, or publicizing, dissent. As Alexeyeva described it in a 2005 interview: "The first time I saw Western journalists was at the trial of Daniel and Siniavskii, and I have to say that they made a good impression on me. First of all because it was very cold; we came wrapped up just like cabbages, while they were in light coats and the kind of little shoes that you should wear in the fall and not in the winter. And they were downright blue with cold, but there they stood; they came in the morning just like us and left at the end of the day." The Russians soon took action in response to this indication of commitment, and therefore potential support: "We asked them to come to a pel'meni shop for some food." (23)
This encounter contributed to a type of dissident--journalist relationship of increasing importance to the Moscow human rights movement as well as to the emerging Soviet dissent movement as a whole. As dissenters gradually established contacts and relationships among growing numbers of like-minded citizens across the Soviet empire in the next few years, Moscow lay nevertheless at the heart of the movement. This was because as the capital of the vast country, it was the primary area to which the Soviet state permitted Western reporters to be posted. These journalists had considerable importance in conveying the ideas and dreams of the dissidents to the outside world, thereby awakening Western interest in the dissident movement that would prove essential not only to publicizing the dissenters' cause but indeed to the physical survival of many of the group's members. Their cause was publicized not only in the outside world; through such media organs as Radio Free Europe, Voice of America, the BBC, and the Deutsche Welle, materials offered to and published by Western correspondents could be further publicized within hours, thus becoming available to vast segments of the Soviet population who had no other means of learning about the dissent movement.
The dissident connection with Western journalists also had an ideological and intellectual logic, arising directly from a central tenet of the human rights movement: the right to openness, to freedom of discourse. Perhaps the most significant figure in developing this vibrant principle of the human rights movement was, as many writing about the movement have reported, Alexander Esenin-Vol'pin--mathematician, long-time dissenter (he had been imprisoned in the 1940s), and lively participant in the doings of the 1960s generation. More than anyone else, according to such memoirists as Vladimir Bukovsky and Ludmilla Alekseyeva, Esenin-Vol'pin expounded repeatedly and forcefully on the radical idea that the Soviet Constitution of 1936 guaranteed Soviet citizens certain rights, including freedom of speech and association. (24) Furthermore, he argued for what he called, long before Mikhail Gorbachev used the word, glasnost', or transparency and openness in the Soviet state. Arguments for this principle of openness were developed in a variety of ways--from Sakharov, for whom it was the path to successful and peaceful internal and foreign relations, to Boris Shragin, for whom it was an essential expression of human dignity and conscience. (25) In Eastern Europe, these principles were articulated by Vaclav Havel, who argued for an escape from the ritualistic and hypocritical ideology of the Soviet bloc through "living in truth." (26) For many Soviet dissenters, their relations with Western journalists were in a sense an extension of that principle of openness.
The initial reaction of many Moscow human rights defenders to Western journalists, including to U.S. journalists, was generally positive. Journalists from the United States and the Netherlands apparently stood out as particularly helpful to the dissident cause and to the dissidents themselves. Ludmilla Alexeyeva, describing the aid given her by one U.S. journalist (Anatole Shub of the Washington Post) in obtaining health treatment for an ailing political prisoner (Larisa Bogoraz) through publicity, went on to say:
I believe that he simply saved Larisa's life.... I can say that in general such humane relations, not just as sources of information, [were very valuable] ... there we were, people for whom it was hard. It was precisely the American journalists, I don't know why. You understand: if you talk about understanding our problems, the Europeans understood them better than the Americans did, but the Europeans related to us as sources of information, they were very careful ... maybe it was because of the circumstances of their publishers. I don't know, but none of them [helped], other than the Dutch.... [But] all the Americans took the exact same route.... When they arrived, they didn't understand a thing. You had to explain everything to them. They didn't understand anything, in contrast with the Europeans, who arrived already understanding. But once they began to understand, at that very moment arose the question "How may I help you?" and from then on they helped, helped, helped. (27)
Detailing the differences between U.S. and West European journalists other than the Dutch, she went on: "I think that those are qualities of the American character. You know ... the Americans helped; the French to this day don't take any interest in human rights defenders; now the Germans, say, do take an interest. Now the Germans help us, but not back then. I simply came to my own conclusion that Americans help, and not only journalists, but diplomats, lawyers, tourists. Americans expressed greater interest in us and sympathy than the Europeans." (28) These impressions were, of course, specifically her own, influenced also by her later experiences of life in exile in the United States. Other former dissidents interviewed have spoken more generally of support from Westerners including citizens from most West European nations.
Even so, that dissenters saw variations among the attitudes of journalists to their situation according to national origin is borne out by Padraic Kenney in his book Carnival of Revolution on the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe:
To the average politically conscious American in the late Cold War, those who resisted communism in Central Europe were heroes. The workers and intellectuals of Solidarity, the lonely Soviet refuseniks, writers in exile like Milan Kundera all somehow represented the best of the American spirit. They longed for freedom, and they spoke without fear.... How could one not celebrate their struggles and welcome them with open arms? Western Europeans saw their neighbors differently. While there were those who traveled to Central Europe, and supported dissenters, all throughout the communist era, the general attitude seemed to be, in the words of Vaclav Havel, "reticence if not outright distrust and uneasiness." (29)
While Kenney's focus was not on the Soviet Union, it is noteworthy that he recognized a similar phenomenon elsewhere in the East Bloc.
During the interview cited above there was an emotional intensity to Alexeyeva's descriptions of her relations with U.S. journalists that is not uncommon. Several interviews revealed this sort of enthusiasm, often with reference to specific Western correspondents. (30) It is hard to know exactly how to interpret this: Is it simple nostalgia? A tendency toward hagiography and glorification of past associations that is not unknown to the Russian intelligentsia? (31) No doubt there is something of this in their responses. The former and contemporary human rights defenders are not much praised in the Russian press even today, and there is a tendency among some of them to glorify the past and past associations. But it is also possible that the positive impressions of U.S. and other Western journalists expressed by several dissenters interviewed stem at least in part from what some dissidents interpreted (not necessarily in error) as individual partisanship and commitment to the dissident cause and community.
Although the materials gathered for this article focus primarily on the Soviet dissident perspective, even cursory examination of the experiences of journalists indicates that taking the Moscow posting was indeed a kind of pilgrimage for some of those engaged in foreign correspondence in the 1960s and 1970s. The very list of journalists posted to Moscow gives a sense of the prestige and professional potential of the position of Moscow correspondent: Walter Cronkite, Hedrick Smith, Peter Osnos, Strobe Talbott, Kevin Close, Robert Kaiser, and many others who went on to build powerful careers following their Soviet experience. In part this was because of the status of the Soviet Union as superpower and predominant challenger to U.S. might. But it also had something to do with the increasing journalistic fascination during this period with more personal, social coverage of the Soviet Union. There was a notable interest among both journalists and U.S. readers in penetrating that seemingly impermeable Iron Curtain for glimpses of real life. There was also a strong interest in the dissent movement in and for itself. That U.S. journalists were also coming from a national context in which dissent had been raised in status through the civil rights movement, the emergence of the baby boomer generation, and protest against the Vietnam War, was also significant. It was very exciting for many reporters to have contact with brave people challenging an authoritarian regime that was the enemy of the United States.
Like other visiting Westerners, U.S. journalists also engaged in some of the activities that could blur the lines between insider and outsider status as perceived in the dissent community, not only through such professional actions as that of Anatole Shub, who aided a political prisoner in dangerously ill health by publicizing her situation, but also through non-journalistic forms of aid including gift-giving and letter-carrying in which many other Westerners engaged. For example, the U.S. journalist Hedrick Smith, although his ties were not to the dissent movement alone, did a great deal to help out his Soviet associates with a variety of gifts such as food and medicine. (32) Peter Osnos and his wife, the Human Rights Watch worker Susan Osnos, also contributed substantially. (33) Equally significant was the growing social involvement of some U.S. journalists in intelligentsia and dissident networks. Paying social calls and inviting Moscow intellectuals to enter the elite homes of Westerners in Moscow also became comparatively common. The U.S. journalist Anne Garrels, for example, was well-known among Soviet dissenters and other intellectuals for her contribution to the warm and intimate sphere of Moscow intelligentsia social life, holding parties at her home and thereby introducing some Soviets to a wider range of Western goods, ideas, and personal ties. (34) Other journalists did much the same, though perhaps to a lesser degree.
It appears that this kind of engagement gave a significant degree of satisfaction to such journalists. As one journalist has put it, "Everybody, when they left, took a piece of Russia with them and left a piece of themselves behind." (35) Yet such relations could also contribute to a certain degree of confusion with regard to the insider/outsider status of U.S. journalists as perceived by dissidents, especially given the internal transformation of the human rights movement as the theme of (samo)zhertvovanie gained increasing significance. By aiding and entertaining dissidents, such journalists were participating in what could appear to be partisan or insider activities and, like generous and involved Westerners more generally, subjecting themselves to certain partisan or insider expectations. (36)
Dissident Critique of Western, including U.S., Correspondents
The experience of willing generosity across social, cultural, and political boundaries that developed between some human rights defenders and some of the journalists who covered them was by no means universal. For some human rights activists, association with Western journalists involved a more self-conscious cultivation of relations with journalists. This was the case for example with Natan Sharansky, the dissident-refusenik. Sharansky, unlike many dissenters, had been trained in the English language, and he soon sought out opportunities to work more closely with English-speaking journalists despite the risks of associating with them. (37) Sharansky positively cultivated the exchange of favors with reporters. He offered Russian lessons, sought out non-dissent stories for journalists who after all had a far broader field to cover than just dissent, interpreted, and generally made life easier for some U.S. journalists. This does not mean that he did not enjoy warm personal relations with U.S. journalists; his association with the Las Angeles Times science journalist Robert Toth and his family was clearly a source of great pleasure. It also gave Sharansky a deeper understanding of journalist professional obligations than some human rights defenders had, as Toth did a great deal to explain them to him. (38) But these were also consciously political and strategic relationships that this astute future Israeli politician developed; in return, he gained a degree of support and personal interest that not only brought greater support and publicity for his cause but would prove vital to his safety later when he was arrested and imprisoned.
Yet other human rights defenders evidently viewed their relationships with Western reporters as purely professional, or perhaps instrumental, rather than personal in any way; they expected the journalists to do their own jobs as professionals and in the process to serve the human rights cause. One such individual was Yuri Orlov, for whom Western journalists were important in publicizing his human rights activities and associations to the West. (39) Another was Sergei Kovalev, who was deeply aware of Western correspondents' importance in conveying information from the underground prisoner-information leaflet Chronicle of Current Events to the West, either through reporting or through direct transport of copies of the Chronicle to the West, often through the U.S. Embassy and its diplomatic pouches. (40) Vladimir Bukovsky expresses a similar neutral instrumentality in describing his efforts to bring the plight of those dissenters placed in the Soviet system of psychiatric hospitals to the attention of the West through engagement with U.S. journalists, though he does call CBS correspondent William Cole "our friend." (41) Other dissenters to have a more instrumental view of Western correspondents included the more prominent Andrei Sakharov and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, both of whom relied heavily on the foreign press to publicize their human rights messages. Given that inaccurate representation of their communications could be discomfiting or even physically dangerous to them, both men could be deeply frustrated by their inability to control those portrayals in the Western press as they would have wished.
Thus, for example, Andrei Sakahrov expresses a considerable degree of dissatisfaction with the professional work of Western journalists, U.S. journalists among them. "[T]he poor use Western journalists make of their archives and reference works, and the lack of interest they show in new names still amazes me," Sakharov writes in his memoirs, and, "I don't understand the Western media's love affair with Soviet citizens who defect while abroad, jeopardizing efforts to establish a firm legal footing for the right to move freely." (42) What he viewed as gratuitous Western commentary on dissident affairs particularly infuriated him. For example he expressed dismay when his wife Elena Bonner's observations on human rights at a press conference were watered down by an unfounded journalist's comment that Bonner was believed to wish to leave the Soviet Union. (43) A report on Voice of America during Sakharov's and Bonnet's hunger strike that Sakharov was ill was also disturbing to him: "We were infuriated; we felt fine and we feared the backlash that such exaggeration could provoke." (44)
Equally critical in a more complex fashion was Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Solzhenitsyn is renowned for his denunciation of Western values in his Harvard commencement address, among them the values of the Western press. He saw it as guided by popular opinion and faddishness rather than by what people really needed (according to his own judgment) to know: "Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic disease of the 20th century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press." (45) In this he may be seen as reflecting not only the views of the Soviet state with regard to the educational purpose of the press but also his own notion of how readers should be educated. This perspective, too, reveals an instrumental understanding of his relationship with foreign correspondents.
Solzhenitsyn's sense of journalists as serving a controlled educational purpose is further illuminated in Michael Scammell's biography of his life. There Scammell tells the tale of Solzhenitsyn's famous interview with the U.S. Moscow correspondents Hedrick Smith of the New York Times and Robert Kaiser of the Washington Post. Seeking to exert complete control of his own exposure in the Western press, Solzhenitsyn offered the two U.S. journalists a list of possible questions to ask, as well as a set of answers that he wished to have published in full. As the two U.S. journalists were unable to promise publication of this document, he arranged with them to have a Swedish journalist, serendipitously in the apartment simultaneously with Smith and Kaiser, to publish his remarks in full in Sweden one day after the news story based on this encounter was published in the United States. These arrangements did not in fact work out as Solzhenitsyn had hoped, leading to his displeasure. To some extent, such a desire for control on Solzhenitsyn's part reflected a desire to manage the quality of his language (he was much disappointed in what he felt was his lack of eloquence in a unscripted portion of the interview), as well as to manage his exposure not only to the West but also to the threatening Soviet state. (46)
Yet there was also a further dimension to his evaluation of Western and U.S. journalists that may be more difficult to understand, at least from a Western perspective. This is to be found in his book Invisible Allies, which was written simultaneously with his literary memoir The Oak and the Calf (completed in 1974) but not published until the second half of 1991, close to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Invisible Allies is largely an expression of gratitude for the commitment of those who aided Solzhenitsyn in reproducing, protecting, and transporting his manuscripts and other communications, in secret and against many odds. Although most of it is devoted to the supportive activities of Soviets, one chapter covers the contributions of Westerners, including foreign correspondents. Here, Solzhenitsyn is not as gracious:
It is not an inherent quality of people in the West that they should be calculating to the point of pettiness or that the more amiable they appear on the surface, the more hardhearted they are in reality. It is all a question of which "force-field" they are drawn to. In Russia, despite Soviet oppression, there has long been a field tugging us in the direction of generosity and self-sacrifice, and it is this force that is communicated to certain Westerners and takes hold of them--perhaps not for all time but at least while they are among us. (47)
These words, along with a comment to the effect that Western journalists and others educated in the West were willing to "leave their mercenary habits behind and risk their necks" upon encountering the dissent movement, reveal a harsh critique of and hostility toward the West and its representatives, including foreign correspondents. (48) Solzhenitsyn is describing them as fundamentally selfish, apparently capable of giving up that negative quality only through contact with (Russian) Soviet dissenters. These could be dismissed as the words of a self-righteous or merely cranky individual. Yet they make a great deal more sense if placed into the cultural context of the dissident struggle with insider vs. outsider identity for themselves and for foreign correspondents, as well as the narrative of (samo)zhertvovanie. Solzhenitsyn's words may reflect at least as much an effort to assert internal dissenter community identity and the relations of such outsiders as Western journalists to that identity, and at least as much confusion about how to evaluate the behavior of those Westerners with insufficient contextual data, as it does simple hostility.
To better understand the nature of such dissident anger or even contempt toward Western journalists, it is worth examining another and more detailed example of such hostility: that of the dissenter Andrei Amalrik. Amalrik, together with Aleksandr Esenin-Vol'pin, was one of the earliest of the activists to recognize the potential value of cultivating professional and personal ties with Western journalists and was very active in the mid- to late 1960s in cultivating such ties. (49) Yet several years later, in an article translated into English and published in the New York Review of Books in 1971, he scolded Western journalists vigorously for cowardice and a lack of professionalism that in his view resulted in insufficient and inadequate coverage of the dissent movement. He further developed this theme in his memoir, published in 1982, also translated into English. Western journalists were fearful and unwilling to challenge the Soviet state effort to prevent encounters between Soviet citizens and themselves, he argued, and all too willing to toe the political line imposed by Soviet control.
The reporters' unwillingness to challenge state control of foreign coverage of Soviet affairs was in part due to what Amalrik described as the attraction of their fortuitous circumstances in the Soviet Union and their fear of losing certain luxuries associated with the Moscow posting: "The very fact of living in Moscow--with a good salary, a housemaid, a secretary, and a chauffeur--is a privilege for some journalists. For them, returning home would mean reverting to a more modest scale of living." Their cowardice was also due to punishments threatened by the Soviet state for coverage not to its liking, from limiting access to information to police warnings, expulsion, actual trials, and imprisonment. In Amalrik's 1971 article, he told the story of Western journalists who lacked the courage to attend a dissident press conference that was shut down by the KGB. He was especially irate at the response of a group of Swedish journalists who, when accosted by the police near the apartment where the press conference was to be held, stated that they were taking a walk: "They perhaps considered their reply exceptionally smart but, in my opinion, it was more the retort of a mischievous schoolboy than the reply of an adult journalist whose right and duty it was to attend that press conference which would be of interest to his readers." Later in this article, Amalrik launched a particularly vituperative attack on one U.S. journalist who had been in the Soviet Union since Stalin's day, Henry Shapiro, the head of UPS, for what Amalrik saw as his cowardice in refusing to cover dissent to the degree that Amalrik expected. The New York Review of Books put asterisks in the place of Shapiro's name, but all familiar with the Moscow correspondent scene knew to whom he was referring (the more so as this article had circulated uncensored among Western correspondents samizdat style for a time before publication). (50)
Journalists could make a variety of responses to Amalrik's accusations, such as that Western readership interest in the dissent movement, especially as conveyed to them by their newspaper editors, was not as great as Amalrik seemed to think; that Moscow was far from a luxury posting (though what Amalrik missed was that it was a prestige posting); that it was not worth expulsion to cover a single dissident event, and so on. But my aim here is to understand not the journalist point of view but the dissident point of view. Where did this bitter attack come from, given Amalrik's original enthusiasm about Western coverage, and given the many successful relationships with Western journalists built up by other dissenters? Some human rights defenders when interviewed (it was not possible to interview Amalrik as he died in 1980 in an auto accident in Spain) on this question of Amalrik's attitude put the issue in terms of personality: Amalrik was a difficult, somewhat "eccentric" man, some said, and that is why he adopted the critical stance that he did. (51) This perception of Amalrik's difficult personality is corroborated by at least one Western journalist who knew him. (52)
Yet it is the argument of this article that Amalrik's commentary on Western journalists was not only a matter of personality but also, and more interestingly, of culture, in this case of Soviet dissident culture in the context of Soviet culture more broadly, and that his response was one of a continuum of possible cultural responses ranging from the enthusiasm among such human rights activists as Alexeyeva and Podrabinek described above to his own bitter critique. Just like the more positive relationships and attitudes, it was shaped in part by that blurring of insider and outsider boundaries. If the relationships between U.S. journalists and human rights defenders were due in part to a strong dissident sense of what might be described as insider commitment of gifts, aid, and domestic association from journalists, this negative reaction was to some extent founded on the notion that as insiders, U.S. and other Western journalists had certain insider moral obligations--and that failure to live up to those obligations was indeed a betrayal of sorts.
Primary among those obligations was that of freedom of speech, which was also the primary intellectual bond that brought dissidents and journalists together, from the point of view of such dissenters as Amalrik. He believed that journalists should report the truth--thereby covering the dissent movement--at any cost. Integrally connected to the question of freedom of speech as he saw it was freedom of association: and that was for Amalrik a question of the domestic connection, that is, meetings in the domestic sphere. From Amalrik's perspective, journalists had not just the right to domestic encounters but in fact the obligation to pursue and participate in such encounters as well. Thus he began his 1971 New York Review of Books article with the story of a U.S. correspondent's wife who attempted to bring a young Russian friend into her home; a Soviet policeman allowed the correspondent's wife to enter her building but not the Russian. Amalrik felt that the American woman should have put up a bigger struggle to maintain her right to invite Russians into her home: "'Why didn't you lodge a complaint against this policeman?' I asked the correspondent's wife after she recounted the incident." (53) From his point of view, by failing to protest this prevention of domestic involvement, the U.S. correspondent (or his wife) was virtually collaborating with the state in its desire to isolate them from the real Soviet public. After all, from his perspective, Western journalists, and the more so U.S. journalists, had the right to meet with Soviets as well as the freedom to meet with them. Journalists who did not make use of their rights and their freedom were in a sense abusing those things.
Discussing more extensively what he saw as the obligation of journalists to pursue the domestic encounter in the Soviet context, Amalrik continues later in the article: "Thus, some feel they are able to visit the Russians, but that they themselves ought not to invite the Russians into their homes; others, on the contrary, feel that they can invite Russians into their apartments while they ought not to visit them.... The basic tendency, i.e., the less one does, the better one lives, somewhat contradicts the journalists' professional obligations." For Amalrik, the importance of the domestic connection and journalists' failure to protect their right to it led directly to the issue of professionalism. He continued:
As I gathered from my talks with the journalists, many of them are themselves aware of the abnormality of their position in Moscow. Nevertheless, almost none of them wished to defend his rights ... Foreign correspondents in Moscow to this day still do not possess a union or club of their own, and completely lack all sense of professional association.... I do not wish people to feel that I am calling upon Western journalists to struggle against the Soviet regime, for I have simply in mind their united struggle for their own professional rights within the limits of present Soviet law.
Amalrik added ironically: "By the way, in order to remain objective, I ought to mention a case where the correspondents did in fact come out in corpore in defense of their own rights. This took place at the time when the correspondents were refused permission to order goods from abroad." (54)
The preceding quotation reveals a variety of ways in which Amalrik perceived foreign correspondents as failing to live up to what may be described as insider expectations--that is, the expectations that they as participants in a given cause and community were expected to fulfill--despite his claims that he was not calling upon Western journalists to struggle against the Soviet regime, and that he was merely interested in the professionalism of the journalists. Freedom of speech lay at the core of the cause; Amalrik believed that freedom of speech must be defended at all cost. The correspondents' view that such freedoms have limitations that must be calculated seemed to be laziness, cowardice, and careerism to Amalrik. For him the freedom of association was much the same thing: it had to be defended at all cost. These were matters of rights; given the dissident focus on such rights as he and others argued that they were supported in the Soviet constitution, it made sense to Amalrik that foreign correspondents, committed to the same cause, should also defend their rights at any cost. Failure to do so seemed from his perspective to be not just weakness but indeed a form of corruption by self-interest and greed.
The ethos or narrative of selflessness so important to the human rights community also seemed sacrosanct to him. His somewhat bitter comment on the willingness of correspondents to join together only for the sake of material gain (to order goods from abroad) was an accusation of betrayal in the sense of pursuing self-interest that was counter to the dissenting narrative of (samo)zhertvovanie, and thus also corrupt. That the problem of the domestic sphere, so central to the experience (real or imagined) of communality between dissenters and journalists, nagged at Amalrik is indicated not only by the repeated return to the topic in the materials cited above but also in a complaint in his memoir about not being invited for dinner to the home of one particular U.S. correspondent, Peter Osnos. Again, this seemed to Amalrik to be a demonstration of cowardice, not merely a negative social experience, as it seemed to Peter and Susan Osnos themselves. (55) He followed this complaint in his memoir with a detailed description of Osnos as an "anti-dissident," which does not reflect the reality of Osnos's work in the Soviet Union. (56) To him, if Osnos was not willing to participate in the traditional alliance-building activity of the domestic arena, then he must be an enemy.
Amalrik's commentary on Western, especially certain U.S., journalists, was not simply an objective analysis of their professionalism or lack thereof. Its angry overtones reveal the sense of a cause and a community betrayed, in ways that oddly enough (or not so oddly) echo the overtones of the far more dangerous Soviet anger and anxiety over internal betrayal particularly under Stalin, and later as well: for example, in the official attacks of the Soviet state and official press on human rights defenders such as Amalrik himself. Alexander Solzhenitsyn's words of moral condemnation, too, which could be dismissed as those of an ungrateful crank, are also revealed as having deeper roots in a sense of community betrayal; if you are not with us then you are against us, and to be against us is to lack a moral foundation. Like the expressions of enthusiasm about the contributions of foreign correspondents, expressions of hostility such as those of Amalrik and Solzhenitsyn reflect the complexity for dissenters of evaluating the behavior of such alien figures to engage with their own rapidly shifting and evolving identity and culture.
To a certain extent, some U.S. journalists had unwittingly opened themselves up to such a response as Amalrik's, by following in the footsteps of other Westerners in the Soviet Union and engaging in gift-giving, aid, and domestically based social interaction that seemed to draw them into the human rights cause. They thereby became caught up in insider identity, status, and expectations as human rights defenders themselves struggled with their own shifting identities. Above all, they became caught up in the emergence of that powerful narrative of (samo)zhertvovanie that swept the human rights community in the mid-to-late 1960s and early 1970s. Yet had it not been worth it? For that honorary insiderhood of some U.S. journalists had also given many individuals on both sides great personal pleasure as well as triggering such negative responses as Amalrik's. That enthusiasm surely contributed to warmer and more extensive U.S. coverage of both the Soviet Union and dissent (such as Hedrick Smith's immensely popular book The Russians). Amalrik's response (as Alexeyeva and Ginzburg believed and have said) was really the exception, the contradiction that helps us grasp the complex dimensions of the whole phenomenon. Caught in the dissident stew of changing identities, U.S. journalists, who were themselves experiencing the challenge to identity that is a part of travel abroad and life in a foreign culture, engaged in an emotionally powerful transnational encounter of real historical significance. While it is difficult to quantify, there is little doubt but that this encounter had a significant impact on the outcome of the Cold War.
Dept. of History/308
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557 USA
I would like to express my warmest gratitude to those who have read and commented on this article, improving it greatly: Walter Pintner, Mack Walker, Benjamin Nathans, Gyorgy Peteri, Michael David-Fox, and an anonymous reader for Kritika. Many thanks also to all those who have permitted me to interview them for this project.
(1) Ludmilla Alexeyeva and Paul Goldberg, The Thaw Generation: Coming of Age in the Post-Stalin Era (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993), 130.
(2) For a vivid description of these contradictory emotions among some early Soviet intellectuals, see Michael David-Fox, "The Fellow-Travelers Revisited: The 'Cultured West' through Soviet Eyes," Journal of Modern History 75, 2 (2003): 300-35; for further elucidation of this phenomenon more broadly, see Gyorgy Peteri, introduction to "Nylon Curtain--Transnational and Transsystemic Tendencies in the Cultural Life of State-Socialist Russia and East Central Europe," Slavonica 10, 2 (2004).
(3) J. V. Stalin, Works (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1955), 13: 40-41, cited in Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 130.
(4) For a detailed discussion of the questions of loyalty and identity, insiders and outsiders in the early period of Stalin's rule, see Golfo Alexopoulos, Stalin's Outcasts: Aliens, Citizens, and the Soviet State, 1926-1936 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003).
(5) Dina Kaminskaya, Final Judgment: My Life as a Soviet Defense Attorney, trans. Michael Glenny (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982), 41.
(6) Ida Nudel, A Hand in the Darkness, trans. Stefani Hoffman (New York: Warner Books, 1990), 12. For more on the lasting trauma of the Doctors' Plot for Jewish Soviets, see Mark Azbel, Refusenik: Trapped in the Soviet Union (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981), 97.
(7) Yuri Orlov, Dangerous Thoughts (New York: William Morrow, 1991), 111, 125.
(8) For extensive discussion of the kompaniia movement, see Alexeyeva and Goldberg, The Thaw Generation, 83 ff.
(9) Ibid., 94-95.
(10) On samizdat, see, for example George Saunders, ed., Samizdat: Voices of the Soviet Opposition (New York: Monad, 1974); Michael Meerson-Aksenov and Boris Shragin, eds., The Political, Social, and Religious Thought of Russian "Samizdat": An Anthology, trans. Nickolas Lupinin (Belmont, MA: Nordland, 1977); see also Alexeyeva and Goldberg, The Thaw Generation, 97-99.
(11) Barbara Walker, "Pollution and Purification in the Moscow Human Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s," forthcoming in Slavic Review, Summer 2009.
(12) Pavel Litvinov and Aleksandr Daniel, interview with Barbara Walker, Moscow, 26 June 2005.
(14) Alexeyeva and Goldberg, The Thaw Generation, 130.
(15) Viktor Dziadko and dacha visitors, interview with Barbara Walker, Moscow, 25 June 2005.
(16) Quoted from Milan Kundera, "The Tragedy of Central Europe," trans. Edmund White, New York Review of Books, 26 April 1984: 38.
(17) Tat'iana Starostina, interview with Barbara Walker, Moscow, 17 July 2006. A similar impression was expressed by a noted former dissident in Aleksandr Podrabinek, interview with Barbara Walker, Moscow, 21 July 2005.
(18) Arsenii Roginskii, interview with Barbara Walker, Moscow, 14 July 2006.
(19) Aleksandr Podrabinek, interview with Barbara Walker, Moscow, 21 July 2005.
(21) Barbara Walker, Maximilian Voloshin and the Russian Literary Circle: Culture and Survival in Revolutionary Times (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005), esp. introduction and chaps. 1-3.
(22) "The Hypocrites," in Izvestiia, 16 January 1966, cited in translation in Alexeyeva and Goldberg, The Thaw Generation, 127.
(23) Ludmilla Alexeyeva, interview with Barbara Walker, Moscow, 1 July 2005.
(24) Alexeyeva and Goldberg, The Thaw Generation, 106-9; Vladimir Bukovskii, To Build a Castle, trans. Michael Scammell (New York: Viking, 1979), 234-41. For a richly detailed discussion of Vol'pin's intellectual and political development, see Benjamin Nathans, "The Dictatorship of Reason: Aleksandr Vol'pin and the Idea of Rights under 'Developed Socialism,'" Slavic Review 66, 4 (2007): 630-63.
(25) Andrei Sakharov, Progress, Coexistence, and Intellectual Freedom, trans. The New York Times, ed. and intro, by Harrison Salisbury (New York: W. W. Norton, 1988); Boris Shragin, The Challenge of the Spirit, trans. P. S. Falla (New York: Knopf, 1978); see esp. the introduction, 3-13.
(26) Vaclav Havel, Open Letters, trans, and ed. Paul Wilson (New York: Knopf, 1991), 125-214.
(27) Ludmilla Alexeyeva, interview with Barbara Walker, Moscow, 1 July 2005.
(29) Padraic Kenney, A Carnival of Revolution: Central Europe, 1989 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002), 91-92.
(30) Arina Ginzburg, interview with Barbara Walker, Paris, 2003; Gleb Yakunin, interview with Barbara Walker, Moscow, 6 July 2006.
(31) Barbara Walker, "On Reading Soviet Memoirs: A History of the 'Contemporaries' Genre as an Institution of Russian Intelligentsia Culture from the 1790s to the 1970s," Russian Review 59, 3 (2000): 327-52.
(32) Hedrick Smith, interview with Barbara Walker, Washington, DC, 21 May 2005.
(33) Peter Osnos and Susan Osnos, interview with Barbara Walker, Greenwich, CT, 19 March 2005.
(34) Tat'iana Starostina, interview with Barbara Walker, Moscow, 17 July 2006.
(35) Harry Dunphy, quoted in Whitman Bassow, The Moscow Correspondents: Reporting on Russia from the Revolution to Glasnost (New York: William Morrow, 1988), 265. For more on the U.S. journalists' perspective on their Soviet experiences, see not only the excellent and detailed book by Bassow, but also such books as Anatole Shub, The New Russian Tragedy (New York: W. W. Norton, 1969); David Bonavia, Fat Sasha and the Urban Guerilla: Protest and Conformism in the Soviet Union (New York: Athenaeum, 1973); Hedrick Smith, The Russians (New York: Ballantine, 1977); Robert Kaiser, Russia: The People and the Power (New York: Athenaeum, 1976); Andrew Nagorski, Reluctant Farewell: An American Reporter's Candid Look inside the Soviet Union (New York: Holt, Reinhart, and Winston, 1985); and Daniel Schorr, Staying Tuned: A Life in Journalism (New York: Pocket Books, 2001).
(36) This is not to say that journalists were unaware of potential conflicts that arose from their engagement with the human rights scene; Whitman Bassow covers some of the discussion among journalists that arose over this topic in The Moscow Correspondents, 240-48. That at least one journalist did in fact publicly represent himself as a partisan or ally of one particular circle of dissenters may be seen in the words of David Bonavia: "Two of the most intelligent people in Moscow are Valery and Vera Chalidze. Vera is also one of the city's most charming women" (Fat Sasha and the Urban Guerilla, 13). It is unclear, however, whether or not Moscow human rights activists had access to such a text.
(37) Note the importance of English-language skills among dissenters such as Sharansky, as well as Russian-language skills among U.S. journalists such as Anatole Shub, Hedrick Smith, and Anne Garrels; these skills were not common but could have a real impact on journalist-dissident relations. That the Soviet state was aware of this and took action against some Russian-speaking U.S. journalists was noted upon Shub's expulsion from the Soviet Union in a 1969 Time magazine article: "Bringing down Thunderbolts," Time, 30 May 1969.
(38) Natan Sharansky, Fear No Evil, trans. Stefani Hoffman (New York: Random House, 1988), 102-5.
(39) Yuri Orlov, interview with Barbara Walker, Ithaca, NY, 17 March 2005.
(40) Sergei Kovalev, interview with Barbara Walker, Moscow, 5 July 2005.
(41) Vladimir Bukovsky, To Build a Castle, 360.
(42) Andrei Sakharov, Memoirs, trans. Richard Lourie (New York: Knopf, 1990), 204, 342.
(43) Ibid., 476.
(44) Ibid., 565.
(45) Alexander Solzhenitsyn, "A World Split Apart," text of address by Alexander Solzhenitsyn at Harvard Class Day afternoon exercises, 8 June 1978 (www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine. arch/solzhenitsyn/harvard1978.html), accessed 31 March 2008.
(46) Michael Scammell, Solzhenitsyn (New York: W. W. Norton, 1984), 758-63. For further discussion, see Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Oak and the Calf: Sketches of Literary Life in the Soviet Union, trans. Harry Willetts (New York: Harper and Row, 1975), 331, 503-14; Smith, The Russians, 557-67; Kaiser, Russia, 428-33.
(47) Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Invisible Allies, trans. Alexis Klimov and Michael Nicholson (Washington, DC: Counterpoint, 1995), 265.
(49) Alexeyeva and Goldberg, The Thaw Generation, 165-66; Andrei Amalrik, Notes of a Revolutionary, trans. Guy Daniels (New York: Knopf, 1982), 3.
(50) Andrei Amalrik, "News from Moscow," New York Review of Books, 25 March 1971.
(51) Arina Ginzburg, interview with Barbara Walker, Paris, 1 May 2004; Ludmilla Alexeyeva, interview with Barbara Walker, Moscow, 1 July 2005.
(52) Peter Osnos and Susan Osnos, interview with Barbara Walker, Greenwich, CT, 19 March 2005.
(53) Amalrik, "News from Moscow."
(55) Peter Osnos and Susan Osnos, interview with Barbara Walker, Greenwich, CT, 19 March 2005.
(56) Amalrik, Notes of a Revolutionary, 292-93; the Osnoses gave their take on this experience in their 19 March 2005 interview.
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