Books: The Man Who Could Only Say Nyet

TO BUILD A CASTLE−MY LIFE AS A DISSENTER by Vladimir Bukovsky Translated by Michael Scammell; Viking; 438 pages; $17.50

The literature of the Soviet Union's political dissidents continues to crowd the imagination like a 19th century novel. Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Chekhov echo in the dramatic testimony of Solzhenitsyn, Sinyavsky, Daniel, Sakharov, Medvedev and Mandelshtam. Vladimir Bukovsky's To Build a Castle adds the spirit of Lewis Carroll. His Soviet Union seems like a vertiginous rabbit hole lined in permafrost, or the other side of the looking glass, where the Red kings and queens of the...

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