The author, a former Soviet sociologist, describes the ties between the political regime and the intellectuals of that state. Beginning with the end of Stalin's rule, he explores what he sees as the mutual co-operation and antagonism that has existed between political leaders and intellectuals. The book examines such topics as the role of literature and film in political opposition, and the attempts by the KGB to sow the seeds of mental disturbance among the opponents of the state. The book ends with an analysis of glasnost which, it claims, has revealed a divergence of opinion among Soviet intellectuals, which their united opposition to the more oppressive regimes had somewhat concealed.
Soviet intellectuals in the Soviet structure: love-hate relationships with the political elite. the intellectuals' values and orientations: between hedonism and altruism. the intellectuals' subculture: a quest. Soviet intellectuals: oppositional views and inconsistent political behaviour. the 1960s: the heroic age of Soviet intellectuals. Liberal Socialism: the main ideological trend of the 1960s intellectuals in the line of political reaction. Russophile ideology: a trend that rose to dominance in the 1970s. intellectuals live in the chosen land: Gorbachev's glasnost.