The Thaw Generation offers an insider's look at the Soviet dissident movement–the intellectuals who, during the Khrushchev and Brezhnev eras, dared to challenge an oppressive system and demand the rights guaranteed by the Soviet constitution. Fired from their jobs, hunted by the KGB, “tried,” and imprisoned, Alexeyeva and other activists including Andrei Sakharov, Yuri Orlov, Yuli Daniel, and Andrei Sinyavsky, through their dedication and their personal and professional sacrifices, focused international attention on the issue of human rights in the USSR.
A deeply personal chronicle that offers a close and often chilling view of the Soviet dissident movement from Stalin's death in 1953 through the ascent of Gorbachev.
[Alexeyeva] offers personal testimony, modest, precise, without rhetoric of any kind. Schooled under Stalinism, she gives us a memoir that becomes a portrait of her generation, and the handful of people in it who constituted the dissident movement.
Though the dissident movement was all but destroyed by the early '80s, Alexeyeva convincingly argues its importance in making today's reforms possible.
The Thaw Generation does admirably what it seeks to do. It documents the travails and achievements of Soviet dissidents during the oppressive decades of the 1960s and 1970s and the early years of the 1980s.