Shlapentokh, Vladmir Books
Dr. Vladimir Shlapentokh was born, raised, and educated in the Soviet Union. Before immigrating to the United States in 1979, he was a Senior Fellow in the Sociological Institute in Moscow and conducted the first nationwide public opinion polls in the Soviet Union. After immigrating to the United States, has published 17 books and dozens of professional articles about Soviet and post-Soviet issues. His latest books include Fears in Post-Communist Society (coauthor) (New York/Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002) and A Normal Totalitarian Society (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 2001). He has published dozens of columns in periodicals such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Christian Science Monitor. He is a Professor of Sociology at Michigan State University.2004 0-7734-6294-5
This book is an autobiography of a well-known American sociologist who first rose to prominence in the Soviet Union. The author tries, with utmost honesty and without sparing himself, to examine the life of an individual who realized in his early youth the totalitarian character of the Soviet society but who did not dare fight the system. The book revolves around the intellectual evolution of the author and his attempt to create for himself a picture of society that was opposed to the official ideology. The author reflects on human nature based on his life experiences in the USSR and to some degree also in the West. Special attention has been devoted to the role of fear in totalitarian society, and to the way people adjusted to it. Friendship is described as one of the best ways to cope with the omnipresent fear of the state in societies of the Soviet type.