THE INVISIBLE THREADS:
INDEPENDENT SOVIETS WORKING FOR GLOBAL AWARENESS AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION
From Library Journal
Warner tells the stories of ordinary Soviet citizens who found the courage to challenge the Soviet authorities by struggling, with remarkable success, to spread “new thinking” among their fellow citizens before it was popularized by Gorbachev and to establish links with peace and social justice activists in the West.
In what Warner describes as a “culture of pervasive personal disempowerment,” she found individuals who put their freedom at risk every day to translate and distribute antinuclear books, match children with pen pals in the United States, invite Westerners to their homes, and coordinate exchanges.
Written before the Gorbachev reforms turned sour, this book reminds us that the real lesson of 1989 was that popular pressure from below toppled the Cold War, not military pressure brought by the United States and its allies.
If the optimism of Warner’s book is unwarranted in the short run, her faith in the ultimate success of grassroots efforts to establish democracy in the long run is not.
This is recommended for general collections.
Jennifer Scarlott, World Policy Institute, New York