The Making of an Activist

Preoccupied though he was with the Soviet Union's political upheaval, Andrei Sakharov found time in his last months to polish his autobiography. The following fragments from Sakharov's Memoirs, to be published in 1990 by Alfred A. Knopf, tell of his evolution from an honored physicist into a man reviled, hounded and condemned to exile as the U.S.S.R.'s foremost human rights activist.

On Dec. 3 or 4, 1966, I found an envelope in my mailbox containing two sheets of onionskin paper. The first sheet was an anonymous report on the arrest and confinement in a psychiatric hospital of Viktor Kuznetsov, an artist...

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