On January 13, 1991, in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, tens of thousands of Lithuanians supported their leader's declaration of independence from the USSR. The Soviet's deadly response and the movement's ultimate success, with its far-reaching consequences, stunned the world. American author and political scientist, Richard J. Krickus, was in Lithuania as an elections monitor during the momentous days leading to independence. His eyewitness account explains how this nation of fewer than four million people set in motion the forces that broke apart the vast Soviet Union. Based on personal knowledge of the dangerous events and the brave Lithuanians involved, this book also explains how America aided this unforeseen catalyst to the collapse of the Soviet Union.