It is as Solzhenitsyn predicted in The Gulag Archipelago: "No, no one would have to answer. No one would be looked into." (Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956, 3:482; trans. Harry Willetts (New York: Harper and Row, 1978)). In this work, Tim Tzouliadis seeks to arouse an interest, to create an insight into the barbarities committed throughout the "socialist experiment" in Soviet Russia. Writing particularly to an American audience, Tzouliadis recounts the story of the lost thousands of American to the oppression of the Soviet state. Virtually unknown to Americans is that the existence of these thousands was well-known to U.S. government officials and journalists stationed in the Soviet Union during the 30's, 40's, 50's, and 60's, people who simply remained silent in the midst of their fellow-citizens' disappearance and murders.
This book is a primer on the brutality of the Communist regime. For those unfamiliar with this history, it is an introduction. For those who have read Anne Applebaum, Robert Conquest, Vassily Grossman, John Haynes, Harvey Klehr, Elinor Lipper, the Medvedevs (Roy and Zhores), Richard Pipes, Edward Radzinsky, Varlam Shalamov, Vitaly Shentalinsky, Dmitri Volkogonov, and, of course, Alexander Solzhenitysn, the history is not new. But, the story of Americans who once played baseball in Gorky Park only to end up executed by the gun or hard labor in Siberia is news to most.
Particularly of interest is the author's revelation of the betrayal of their fellow-citizens by government officials at the very top of the U.S. government. While the identities of the likes of Harry Hopkins, Alger Hiss, Dexter White, Paul Robeson, Joseph Davies and others is well-known to those familiar with the history of the era, Tzouliadis provides new insights by relying on more-recently divulged information to establish the extent of the betrayal of traditional American moral virtues.
The bones of the victims of Soviet repression cry out for acknowledgement of their torture and degradation, as well as condemnation and judgment of their persecutors. The victims of Communist deceit, it must be recognized, are us all. It is time for the full story to be told.
In addition to his simply telling this story, Tzouliadis offers a moral tale that is supremely relevant today: those with utopian ideals and a fractured understanding of human nature cannot be trusted to lead a nation.
Read this book; its style makes it an easy encounter; its disclosures make it essential reading for those who would be intelligently informed.