Reluctant Farewell

An American Reporter's Candid Look Inside the Soviet Union

A Newsweek correspondent who was expelled in 1982 after just 14 months in Moscow, Nagorski traveled around the country looking for news rather than relying on official sources.

 

Nagorski, who was Newsweek's Moscow bureau chief from May 1981 until August 1982, joins a growing body of correspondents such as Michael Binyon ( Life in Russia , LJ 5/1/84) and Kevin Klose ( Russia and the Russians , LJ 3/1/84) who have chronicled their experiences within and their impressions of one of the most enigmatic societies. Nagorski differed from most of his colleagues in his ability to speak Russian, his eagerness to travel outside the major cities, and his willingness to meet all sorts of Soviet citizens: academics to dissidents to black marketeers. He also was the first American reporter expelled by the Kremlin since 1977. An extremely readable and personal account of one journalist's struggles with a markedly different tradition.

John C. Campbell

 

Newsweek's former Moscow correspondent reports on his 14-month tour of duty in the Soviet Union (1981-82), cut short when he was unceremoniously expelled. That outcome should have been no surprise, as he was a "problem" from the start in the eyes of his Soviet hosts,...

a deceptively short book that tells us a great deal about the Soviet Union, the press and how each covers the other.

Nagorski differed from most of his colleagues in his ability to speak Russian, his eagerness to travel outside the major cities, and his willingness to meet all sorts of Soviet citizens: academics to dissidents to black marketeers. He also was the first American reporter expelled by the Kremlin...

Vibrates with echoes of a Russian adage that a pessimist is a well-informed optimist. Curious, sensitive, a touch idealistic yet pragmatic, Nagorski interpreted his role in the U.S.S.R. as having a moral dimension beyond professional responsibilitiesinteresting and instructive.

Behind the Iron Curtain through the eyes and ears of an intrepid Newsweek reporterthis portrait of a society in a straitjacket is highly recommended for those who want to learn more about the enigma that is Russia.

Very rewardinghis descriptions are minor classics of Russian reporting.

Reading Nagorski, it is easy to develop an unseemly sympathy for the poor souls charged with keeping the lid on the naturally gregarious spirit of the Russian peopleit is precisely Nagorskis sense of justice that drove him to move so far off the beaten track, and that enables him to dig up the...

This book is the moving, well-written story of what happened when a reporter refused merely to copy the pictures painted by Kremlin officials, and tried instead to lift the censorial dropcloth that conceals much of Soviet life. This effort to find out about the man on the street was the sort of...