This study offers a personal look at the progenitors of glasnost and perestroika. The book examines the first tremors of change felt during the 1950s thaw and the dissidents and leaders whose political consciousness was formed during that time. Ludmilla Alexayeva, a leading activist in the Soviet human rights movement and now a member of the Helsinki Watch Group, gives us a first hand account of at this period. Thinkers, reformers and radicals came of age during Khruschev's liberalization and the revelation of Stalin's atrocities. Determined to transform Russia, they turned to defiance, with all its consequences, while others of their generation advanced within the bureaucratic system in the hope of outlasting the old guard.