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978-1-7936-0292-3 • Hardback • July 2019 • $122.00 • (£94.00)
978-1-7936-0294-7 • Paperback • May 2021 • $45.99 • (£35.00)
978-1-7936-0293-0 • eBook • July 2019 • $40.50 • (£31.00)
Josef Pazderka is a leading Czech historian and editor-in-chief of the online daily Aktuálně.cz.
Prologue: The Russian ‘Prague Spring’ by Josef Pazderka
Chapter 1: We Came to Carry Out a Mission: Soviet Soldiers and Their Views of the Invasion by Daniel Povolný
Chapter 2: We Saved the World from a Third World War: An Interview with General Pavel Kosenko by Josef Pazderka
Chapter 3: Of Course It Makes One Feel Sorry: An Interview with General Eduard Vorobyev by Josef Pazderka
Chapter 4: We Were Uninvited Guests: A Soviet Paratrooper Recalls the Invasion by Josef Pazderka
Chapter 5: Unrest in the Backwoods. On some Psychological Aspects in the Perception of the 1968 Events in the Periphery of Russia by Leonid Shinkarev
Chapter 6: The Events in Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Embassy in Prague in 1967-68 by Olga Pavlenko
Chapter 7: KGB and the Czechoslovak crisis of 1968 by Nikita V. Petrov
Chapter 8: The Fate of Some Russian Journalists in August 1968 by Dmitry Beloshevsky
Chapter 9: “1968 Changed Us”: An Interview with Vladimir Lukin by Josef Pazderka
Chapter 10: Gorbachev’s People from Dejvice, Prague: The Prague Editorial Board of the World Marxist Review Through the Eyes of Petr Pithart by Petr Pithart
Chapter 11: “I Tried to Talk to Them”: An Interview with the Journalist Vladlen Krivosheyev by Josef Pazderka
Chapter 12: Disgrace. On the Perception of the Invasion of Czechoslovakia in Literary and Humanistic Circles. Development and Psychopathology of the Relationships by Tomáš Glanc
Chapter 13: That’s When Our Illusions Were Dispelled Once and for All: An Interview with Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a Soviet Dissident by Josef Pazderka
Chapter 14: A Few Minutes of Freedom: An Interview with Natalya Gorbanevskaya, a Soviet Dissident by Josef Pazderka
Chapter 15: Diary of Elvira Filipovich (1967–71) by Elvira Filipovich
This volume of interviews, essays, diary excepts, and scholarly analyses was originally published in the Czech Republic and is here smoothly translated by various hands. It provides a stimulating body of information about Russians’ views of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Pazderka (Czech journalist and scholar) has gathered a remarkable range of material, including testimony of high-ranking Soviet military and low-level soldiers and of a broad range of dissidents, former officials, and journalists. Some contributions argue that the intervention prevented a third world war; others reveal the sense of shame and outrage felt by some intellectuals, artists, writers, and students. Pazderka’s interviews are especially revealing, and the scholarly articles provide depth and context. Overall the contribution of the book is to show that the impact of the invasion among Russians was more profound than previously appreciated and that it represented, in the judgment of many included here, a significant turning point in the Cold War. It effectively shows how information about the invasion was available within Russia. The book includes numerous evocative and revealing contemporaneous photographs. Explanatory notes identify individuals not well known to Anglophone readers.
Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.
— Choice Reviews
The Prague Spring of 1968 and its violent suppression by the Warsaw Pact tanks was initially viewed as just a family squabble within the Soviet bloc. It seemed to be of little concern to others. But Josef Pazderka and his co-authors have brilliantly exploded this myth. They show that the invasion was a breaking point in the history of the Cold War. The specter of Soviet tanks unleashed by the Kremlin to crush a mild reform effort demonstrated to millions of Russians that communism was unimprovable. It would have to be rejected for people to regain their right to pursue happiness.
— Igor Lukes, Boston University
One of the leading Czech journalists, Josef Pazderka is an authority on Russia who has now produced a meticulous, evenhanded look at the Soviet participants and observers of the USSR’s 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. From army privates to generals, dissidents to top officials, their previously under-reported experiences and perceptions provide valuable understanding of a wrenching event for his country and major episode in Cold War history that remains highly relevant to the geopolitical confrontation in Europe today.
— Gregory Feifer, Harvard University