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Apr 12

Written by: Diana West
Thursday, April 12, 2018 1:23 PM 

From the Bukovsky Center's Facebook page:

Vladimir Bukovsky went on the radio in Russia to discuss his internationally acclaimed epic, Judgment in Moscow, which will be published in English for the very first time later this year -- more than two decades after it was written!

Bukovsky explains the shocking reason why in the following excerpt translated by Alissa Ordabai. 

Presenter: I have received the English language proofs of Vladimir Bukovsky's book Judgement in Moscow and immediately wanted to get in touch with Vladimir Konstantinovch because this book's destiny is completely amazing. And the amazing part is the American part, not the Russian part. The publishing house was supposed to publish this book in the USA. I understand that it has already been published in other languages and sold well. But the publisher refused to publish the book because you refused to agree to his edits. Tell us about what happened. What edits did they demand and why didn't you agree to them?

VB: Part of my correspondence with the editor is included into the first chapter of the final version of the Judgement in Moscow. Those who are curious can look it up and see what happened. In essence, they demanded that I re-write the entire book from the point of view of a left-leaning liberal. For example, I write that such-and-such publications contracted with the Soviets to publish articles about the Soviet Union under the supervision of the Soviet side...

Presenter: Oh, is this how it went?

VB: This is how it went. Everything is documented: all the agreements, all the archive data. All of this can be looked up. Or, for example, various firms that contracted with them on extremely ideological principles, etc. So the publisher demanded that I delete all of this. Yep. We corresponded by fax back and forth for a long time. In the end I replied to him that "Due to some particulars of my biography, I am allergic to political censorship, so I can't do what you are asking me to do." So he rescinded the contract. But the contract was substantial.

Presenter: I get it.

VB: This slowed me down tremendously. I was forced to spend a long time looking for a new publisher. As you know, publishing is a small world, and if one publisher rescinds a contract, others grow circumspect. Finally I have found a small family publisher in the UK -- John Murray. They don't exist any more, but at the time they did. They were a very proud family publishing firm. They were proud of the fact that at one time they were Byron's publishers. So they bought the rights to my book. Then a group of lawyers paid them a visit -- the fact which they didn't hide, I later received all this information -- and told them, "If you publish this book, we will put you out of business. You will be sued endlessly. Endlessly. You are a family publishing firm, you don't have much money, and you will not hold out." And they did not hold out. They gave in. They rescinded the contract. For this reason I couldn't publish this book for a very long time in English. It was published in French, in Italian, and in German, and in Polish, and in Romanian, not even mentioning Russia where this book was published immediately. And nobody even dreamed of stopping its publication. Nobody sued me in any of these countries. It is clear that there were no grounds for suing. But the English-language publishing houses kept silence and didn't dare to take on this book.

Finally, a group of enthusiasts in America, who are not quite professionals of this field, decided to publish this book in English using their own resources, investing their own labor. All this is being done with a grassroots effort. And the translator who translated this book from Russian, and the people who worked on footnotes and searched for references, and the editors -- all these people worked for free. This is pure enthusiasm. They understand that this book must exist and that people have to read it, so they put in effort. So, kudos to them and let us praise them.

Presenter: Of course! Absolutely!

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