The Perversion of Knowledge: The True Story of Soviet Science

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9780813339078: The Perversion of Knowledge: The True Story of Soviet Science

During the Soviet years, Russian science was touted as one of the greatest successes of the regime. Russian science was considered to be equal, if not superior, to that of the wealthy western nations. The Perversion of Knowledge , a history of Soviet science that focuses on its control by the KGB and the Communist Party, reveals the dark side of this glittering achievement. Based on the author's firsthand experience as a Soviet scientist, and drawing on extensive Russian language sources not easily available to the Western reader, the book includes shocking new information on biomedical experimentation on humans as well as an examination of the pernicious effects of Trofim Lysenko's pseudo-biology. Also included are many poignant case histories of those who collaborated and those who managed to resist, focusing on the moral choices and consequences. The text is accompanied by the author's own translations of key archival materials, making this work an essential resource for all those with a serious interest in Russian history.

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About the Author:

Vadim J. Birstein, Ph.D., a Russian-American geneticist and historian, is the author of more than 140 scientific papers and monographs. A member of the Russian Academy of Science for over twenty years, he was a dissident who experienced firsthand the cruelty of the Soviet regime's control of science. He lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

Russian-American geneticist and historian Birstein's first trade book is the story of "the state control of science in the Soviet Union." A comprehensive history of how Russian scientists were ruled by their government from the Bolshevik revolution through its post-perestroika present, the volume focuses especially on doctors who conducted state-authorized experiments on political prisoners while developing poisons and chemical weaponry that were eventually used in a rash of political assassinations during the 1950s and '60s by way of covert weapons such as umbrella tips and poisoned bullets. But very little of this material reads like an Ian Fleming novel; it's more like a college textbook. With over 100 pages of notes, biographical sketches and translated materials, the text is so finely detailed that it runs the risk of confusing readers with its sheer volume of information. Moreover, most of the original documents Birstein relies upon are still classified and "these documents are... frequently written in a special metaphoric language used by NKVD/KGB offices. Only since 1997 have three fundamental reference books been published in Russian that have allowed me to put the events in Soviet science into historical context." These shortcomings are unfortunate, as the subject of state secrecy and chemical weapons development is both important and timely. In uncovering the Soviet labyrinth of plot and secrecy, Birstein builds labyrinths of his own and casual readers might not be willing to wind their way through to the end.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Birstein, Vadim
Editore: Basic Books, U.S.A. (2001)
ISBN 10: 0813339073 ISBN 13: 9780813339078
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Descrizione libro Basic Books, U.S.A., 2001. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: New. 1st Edition. NEW. Hardcover. Codice libro della libreria 16MARUNKN2604

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Descrizione libro Westview Pr, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A., 2001. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: New. 1st Edition. new first edition hardback with new dustjacket. Codice libro della libreria 030099

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Descrizione libro Basic Books, 2001. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110813339073

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