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The Life of a Dissident. Books about Alexander Litvinenko.

posted 8 Nov 2011, 01:42 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 8 Nov 2011, 01:46 ]
 Tue 15 November 2011 – 7.30pm
The Life of a Dissident. Books about Alexander Litvinenko. 

Language: In English

Presentation by Alex Goldfarb, Marina Litvinenko,  Luke Harding, Alan Cowell..


Originally the book by Alex Goldfarb and Marina Litvinenko “Death of a Dissident” was written in English and published in 2007. Since then it has been reprinted 30 times and translated into 24 languages. In 2010 an extended version of the book was published in Russian as “Sasha, Volodya, Boris…” The books tell the story of Alexander Litvinenko, whose life was split into two unequal parts – 38 years Litvinenko spent in Russia and 6 years in London, where he died on 23rd November 2006, after being poisoned by radioactive polonium-210. The personal stories of his widow, Marina, and his friend Alex Goldfarb shed light on Litvinenko’s nearly unique transformation from a KGB employee to a dissident. Litvinenko’s death has been widely discussed – much less is known about his life. Alex Goldfarb and Marina Litvinenko are joined on the panel by Alan Cowell, the author of ‘The Terminal Spy’ published in 2008 and by Luke Harding, the former Guardian reporter in Russia, whose recent book “Mafia State” discusses, among other things, the role, Litvinenko played in fighting Russian organised crime abroad.

Alex Goldfarb is a Russian-American microbiologist, activist, and author. He emigrated from the USSR in 1975 and lived in Israel and Germany before settling permanently in New York in 1982. Goldfarb is a naturalized American citizen. He has combined a scientific career as a microbiologist with political and public activities focused on civil liberties and human rights in Russia, in the course of which he has been associated with Andrey Sakharov, George Soros, Boris Berezovsky and Alexander Litvinenko. Goldfard arranged Litvinenko’s escape to Britain via Turkey.

Marina Litvinenko met Alexander at a party to celebrate her thirty-first birthday. They married and built their life together in London with their son Anatoly. In 2001 they were granted asylum in Britain.

Alan Cowell was London Bureau Chief of the New York Times at the time of Litvinenko’s murder and covered the story from its inception. His book ‘The Terminal Spy’ provides a remarkable and detailed reconstruction both of how Litvinenko died and of the issues surrounding his murder.

In 2011 Luke Harding, a Guardian correspondent, was expelled from Moscow, thus becoming the first Western reporter to be deported from Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In his new book “Mafia State: How one reporter became an enemy of the brutal new Russia” he gives a unique, personal and compelling portrait of today’s Russia two decades after the end of communism. The book includes unpublished material from confidential US diplomatic cables, released last year by WikiLeaks

Tickets: £7, conc. £5 (Friends of Pushkin House, students and OAPs)