The Hidden War: A Russian Journalist's Account of the Soviet War in Afghanistan

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9780871132833: The Hidden War: A Russian Journalist's Account of the Soviet War in Afghanistan

Until his death in 2000, Artyom Borovik was considered one of the preeminent journalists in Russia. With The Hidden War he provided the world its first glimpse inside the Soviet military machine, capturing the soldiers' terror, helplessness, and despair at waging war in a foreign land against an unseen enemy for unclear purposes. When first published, Borovik's groundbreaking revelations exposed the weaknesses beneath the Soviet Union's aura of military might, creating an enormous controversy both in Russia and around the world. A vital and fascinating portrait of the Soviet empire at the twilight of its power, this is a book that still resonates today. "An honest and graphic account of individual and general disillusionment during the very worst kind of war." -Christopher Hitchens, New York Newsday; "Alternately fascinating and horrific.... A fascinating look at the life and death of Soviet soldiers." -- Bill Wallace, San Francisco Chronicle; "I have read no other account of the war in Afghanistan equal to this ... this is literature." -- Graham Greene

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian

From Publishers Weekly:

Borovik, foreign editor of the Soviet weekly Ogonyok , spent a month with Soviet troops in Afghanistan near the end of the 1979-1988 war. His subjective, impressionistic account is of interest mainly for its startling echoes of the American experience in Vietnam: The Soviet soldiers' awed respect for the elusive enemy, their disgust over the waste of lives, their resentment of the harassment accorded returning veterans by an antiwar populace. And like our GIs in Vietnam, these men found solace in rock music, odd garb and drugs. The pathology of the Vietnam war is mirrored also with stories of Soviet atrocities: rape, murder and a My Lai-like massacre of civilians. Borovik summarizes the prevalent theories as to why the Soviets intervened in '79. The most interesting: Moscow's fear that the U.S., expelled from Iran, would attempt to turn Afghanistan into an anti-Soviet outpost. Although in its raw candor the book stands as a manifestation of glasnost , the writing is uneven, often jarring: "Oh, how harsh is my fate!" cries one veteran. Photos. Author tour.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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