Gates of November
Synopsis: from the dust jacket
Solomon Slepak, an inflexible old-guard Bolshevik--military commander, diplomat, propagandist--not only miraculously survived the murderous purges of the thirties and late forties, despite his high visibility and his Jewish origins, but retained to the last his unwavering faith in the Communist Party.
His son, Volodya, was raised as a true believer and easily entered the elite Moscow world of scientists and engineers--until, choosing the path of dissent, he became an internationally renowned "refusenik" hero. For eighteen years he and his wife, Masha, were the objects of government persecution for the "crime" of attempting to leave the Soviet Union--five of those years lost in Siberia as punishment for hanging a banner from the balcony of their Moscow apartment which read "Let us go to our son in Israel."
The circumstances that shaped Solomon and Volodya Slepak--their personal and public histories and the clash of their ideologies--form the substance of this remarkable account of a family and a nation.
See also: The lengthy preview of The Gates of November in the section on references.