This is the book nobody wants you to read.
"The persecution of Dr. Mirzayanov stands in direct contradiction of the Clinton Administration's commitment to strengthen democratization efforts in the former Soviet Union, and halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. I am confident that you share my deep concern over the treatment of this courageous scientist, and I call on you to personally appeal for his release."
- From the Letter of John Conyers, Jr., Chairman of the Congressional Legislation and National Security Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations, to Warren Christopher, the U.S. Secretary of State, October 19, 1993.
"I personally feel a strong common bond with this courageous man, recognizing that his motives are the same as those that led me to release the Pentagon Papers. The Mirzayanov case is an immediate legal litmus test of emerging Russian democracy. He is an individual in the true tradition of Andrei Sakharov, a man persecuted under the former regime for telling the truth, but now, rightfully, universally honored."
- By Dan Ellsberg, author of "Secrets - A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers"
"I was proud to add my voice to that of the many scientific and human rights organizations that have worked to free Dr. Mirzayanov.
- Senator Patrick Moynihan, U.S. Senate (Congressional Record. Proceedings and Debates of the 103d Congress, First Session. Vol.140, No. 28. Washington, Tuesday, March 15, 1994.)
"...in recognition of his courage and his singular demonstration of the moral responsibility of individual scientists in uphold the integrity of scientific knowledge in an emerging democratic society". The 1994 Heinz R. Pagels Human Rights of Scientific Award of The New York Academy of Sciences.
- Signed by Chairman Cyril M. Harris and President Joshua Lederberg.
"Cavallo Foundation Inc. takes great pleasure in presenting a Certificate of Special Recognition for Moral Courage in Business and Government to Vil Mirzayanov"
- From the Text of the Award in June 1993.
"For his integrity as a scientist, strength of character, and exceptional personal courage that served to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the Russian people and of all humankind"
- From the Text of the 1995 AAAS Freedom and Responsibility Award.
|Publisher:||Outskirts Press, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.80(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Yes, I just finished reading this well translated book- it is truly a fact and culture and history filled human memoir- and an autobiography. Mirzayanov a Communist scientist during the police state years of the Cold War/Iron Curtain tested and helped produce the deadly toxic gases no one wants to talk about or admit are still part of today's modern warfare. These gases and poisons will make anyones skin crawl, eyes blind, stomach retch, and a head spin in agony or even of delusion. Readers can trace the chain of events and circumstances over time that led to the authors change of heart about his job and a wish to make reforms. The consequences in a police state could have ended his life and we might never have this book to share his experience of survival. Then, find out what happened when ordinary citizens outside and inside of Russia began to take interest in his case and find ways to free him. It is also a paradoxical cautionary tale of recent history. Anyone interested in human nature, culture, politics, science, history, and bureaucracies can learn from a first hand witness and get a sense of the way people were thinking in Russian territories during WW2-1994 time. We get a sense of the influence of broadcast and print media can have on a child, the vodka currency, the KGB and many other anecdotes from those times. They are relevant today because some of the the chemical weapons made then still exist. The complexity of the interweaving social political cultural and economic issues of weapons manufacture can be more clearly seen in the lens of changes in the last century.
What is the point of continuing with an illicit chemical weapons program, when these weapons have very little military use, other than to kill civilians? Vil Mirzayanov worked for 26 years at Russia's main institute for developing chemical weapons. After his work became morally insufferable, Mirzayanov blew the whistle on the chemical weapons program, in the early 1990s. His actions landed him prison twice and forced him to make extreme life changes in his 60s. There are a lot of wonderful stories in the book about the people who worked in the Russian military chemical complex, about his time in prison and the wacky Russian court system. There is also a lot of detail about the chemical weapons program including Novichok for the first time, about the regime of secrecy and how it all works. The Novichok chemical agents and their precursors have never been declared by Russia or listed in the schedules of prohibited chemicals in the Chemical Weapons Convention. They can be disguised as agricultural chemicals, for example as pesticides and do not require dangerous storage. Now, Mirzayanov hopes the CWC will be amended.