Seagull Press presents а new book
by Anthony Saidy
A Dialectical Novel
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Out of the ferments of the final decades of the Soviet Union, when no spy agency foresaw major change in that totalitarian state, the author projects an alternative reality. Instead of the pseudo-liberation that would come, what if change had issued from two vital groups in society: dissident intellectuals, from whom the West heard much, and the working class—correspondingly little? Could the two groups, who appeared alienated from each other, somehow mesh, and bring about a new society?
The State has ordained that head and sinew shall remain sundered. The debating intellectuals try to master history, personifying the trends of elitism, anarchism and reformism. Only one of them, Valya, has gone deeper, to identify how radical change will come. Meanwhile Ivan the well-trained Soviet worker strives to master daily life. Then a war in Asia destabilizes everything.
Harrison Salisbury, famed Soviet correspondent of the N.Y. Times, called it “...fascinating... full of interest and insight into the stress and strains of Soviet society—and, to be certain, I found the analysis of Soviet ‘Marxism’ extraordinarily revealing, incisive and penetrating.... I cannot but be reminded of Chernyshevsky’s What is to be Done.... The characters are so much alike in their questing idealism.... it has the strong ring of truth about it.”
Susan Weissman, PhD, author of Victor Serge, called it a “political, dialectical page turner.”
Mimi Kennedy, a
Listen to: Anthony Saidy being interviewed by Suzi Weissman on KPFK about his new book “1983, a Dialectical Novel.”
Norman Solomon, American journalist, media critic, antiwar activist
"This truly is a dialectical novel. It's rooted in a place and time ̶ the Soviet Union of thirty years ago -- while it transcends that place and time. The quest for democracy, transparency, honest politics and peace is with us today, here and now in the USA. This novel runs on personal and political tracks, the individual and the macro; as they converge, so does the story and its meanings. Still with us today.
The author presents a story that's apt to sneak up on us. At first it seems simple ̶ but it's far from simple. At first it may seem merely intellectual ̶ but it's far from simply cognitive. This novel goes to the heart of matters of human subservience and courage. And our potential, always present but rarely realized, to break out of internalized limits that prevent the flowering of our creative striving for solidarity, active love and realized freedoms".
Anthony Saidy, a retired physician in California, sojourned four times as a chess master in the USSR. His classic work, The March of Chess Ideas, is now available as an app from www.epluschess.com.
Date of publication – July 1, 2013. Price: $19.95. 204 pages, Library of Congress Control Number: 2013934590, ISBN 9780989086202.