Soviet Images of Dissidents and Nonconformists

Synopsis

"Parchomenko seeks to determine Soviet leaders' perceptions of dissent and how those perceptions may shape policy. Through examination in detail of two dissident case histories (Vladimir Shelkov, a religious dissenter, and Yuri Orlov, a founder and leader of the Soviet Helsinki Watch Committee), the author seeks to determine the extent to which official perceptions of each dissident's activities seem accurate.... He concludes that Soviet images generally have basis in fact, but grossly exaggerate the danger dissident activities might inflict. Soviet authorities in particular fear the foreign connections most dissidents have established. For the dissidents, it seems the only way to make an impact on their leadership's behavior; for the leadership, dissident foreign collaboration has been very threatening and is therefore intolerable.... Extensive, useful bibliography. Students and general readers." - Choice