The term "Soviet dissident" was coined in the 1960s and '70s when a number of independent thinkers emerged in the Soviet Union and began expressing themselves in various ways. Since then, their numbers have diminished and the range of viewpoints expressed is so wide that a term to cover all of them has little value. Mysticism and Russian nationalism have consumed Alexander Solzhenitsyn and eclipsed his great talent, once at the service of Soviet literature. The courage and justified democratic demands of Andrei Sakharov have been overshadowed by his uncritical acceptance of "Western democracy" and support for such reactionary figures as George Meany.
Recommended CitationDavies, Dave, Review : Lenin and Western Socialism by Roy Medvedev, Australian Left Review, 1(82), 1982, 59-60.