Daily Archives: July 23, 2007

July 23, 2007 — Contents

MONDAY JULY 23 CONTENTS


(1) Another Day, Another International Review, Another Failing Grade for Russia

(2) The Past as Prologue

(3) Bloodthirsty Kremlin’s Onslaught Against the British Dissidents

(4) Zaxi Blog on the Russo-British Firefight

Another Day, Another International Review, Another Miserable, Humiliating Failing Grade for Vladimir Putin’s Russia

Well, the World Bank has just released its 2007 World Governance Indicators report, and once again a prestigious, respected international organization has trashed the Putin regime — which, once again, just as in Soviet times, has tried to blame foreign “russophobia” instead of undertaking needed reform. We’ve documented this phenomenon many times, here’s our summary for 2006, a joltingly dismal report card for Russia.

Even RIA Novosti gets it: Russia is unqualified for G-8 membership or any other role among the advanced nations of the world. RIA states:

This week, the World Bank Institute published its sixth annual Worldwide Governance Indicators. The Bank summarizes six aggregate indicators to arrive at an assessment of how well countries are governed: i) Voice & Accountability, ii) Political Stability and Lack of Violence/Terrorism, iii) Government Effectiveness, iv) Regulatory Quality v) Rule of Law and vi) Control of Corruption. Needless to say, the G7 and the OECD continue to boast the high values which indicate better governance – in other words, these are the advanced first-world countries, or those aspiring to become developed. But no matter how you slice and dice the data, Russia almost invariably appears far below the advanced countries and falls in the ranks of the lower percentiles, which indicate the percentage of countries worldwide that rate below the selected country. President Putin has frequently complained that international reporting on Russia is biased and unfair, that the media focus on the bad news rather than on positive developments. There is certainly some truth in this – Western reporting on the Soviet Union and on Yeltsin and Putin’s Russia has varied between brilliant and insightful and downright incompetent. Nevertheless, Putin’s comments display a profound failure to understand what drives the 24/7 international news agenda. And as new reports by the World Bank and the Swedish Defense Research Agency make clear, it is hard to put a good spin on bad policies.

Russia’s World Bank data is accessible here and here. As shown below (click the graphic to see it full size), its score is down from the prior year in every one of the six assessed categories except political stability and is in the red warning area (bottom quartile in the world) in four of the six categories:


Russia’s “rule of law” score has now slipped into the bottom fifth of all 212 countries surveyed by the World Bank (that means 80% of the countries in the world, four out of five surveyed, have more respect for the law than Russia). Again, Putin’s Russia is in the bottom quartile among the 212 countries surveyed in four of the six categories (shown in red), including stability, and as high as the top half in none. It moved into the bottom quartile this year in two categories where it was above that level previously, and failed to climb out in the other two. It has a “minus” governance score in every category. The decline in “regulatory quality,” previously Russia’s area of highest achievement, was the most dramatic; here Russia’s percentile score fell from a score of 42 in 2005 to a score of 34 in 2006 — a decline of 20% in just one year. Russia’s highest percentile score now is the “governmental effectiveness” category, but this slipped from 41 last year to 38 this year.

The same pattern appears when comparing last year’s results to the year before that; Russia’s scores fell in four of six categories after the passage of one year. Comparing Russia’s scores to ten years ago, when according to the Putinites Russia was a total basket case on life support, shows that Russia is still in the bottom quartile in three categories (corruption, rule of law and stability), has fallen into the bottom quartile in voice/accountability, and has climbed out of the bottom quartile only in governmental effectiveness and regulatory quality. But those two improvements are marginal, since Russia still has negative scores in both areas and has lost ground in both areas in each of the past two years. Russia has sacrificed the freedom it enjoyed in the Yetsin years without making any significant progress towards becoming a successful state.

How can this banana republic possibly be a member of the G-8? How can it be allowed to host the Olympic Games? More important, how can such a disastrous regime, measured quantitatively, possibly enjoy 70%+ approval from the population, even as the population plunges and the entire world is alienated by cold-war policies? Has the world, and have the Russian people, gone mad?

Vladimir Putin has been an unmitigated disaster in Russia. He’s offering Russia “stability” — only in a relative sense, Russia is still a basket case by international standards in that criteria — at the price of every other aspect of civilized society being placed in retrograde. In other words, he’s offering exactly what Stalin offered. How long before Russia meets the USSR’s fate?

Another Day, Another International Review, Another Miserable, Humiliating Failing Grade for Vladimir Putin’s Russia

Well, the World Bank has just released its 2007 World Governance Indicators report, and once again a prestigious, respected international organization has trashed the Putin regime — which, once again, just as in Soviet times, has tried to blame foreign “russophobia” instead of undertaking needed reform. We’ve documented this phenomenon many times, here’s our summary for 2006, a joltingly dismal report card for Russia.

Even RIA Novosti gets it: Russia is unqualified for G-8 membership or any other role among the advanced nations of the world. RIA states:

This week, the World Bank Institute published its sixth annual Worldwide Governance Indicators. The Bank summarizes six aggregate indicators to arrive at an assessment of how well countries are governed: i) Voice & Accountability, ii) Political Stability and Lack of Violence/Terrorism, iii) Government Effectiveness, iv) Regulatory Quality v) Rule of Law and vi) Control of Corruption. Needless to say, the G7 and the OECD continue to boast the high values which indicate better governance – in other words, these are the advanced first-world countries, or those aspiring to become developed. But no matter how you slice and dice the data, Russia almost invariably appears far below the advanced countries and falls in the ranks of the lower percentiles, which indicate the percentage of countries worldwide that rate below the selected country. President Putin has frequently complained that international reporting on Russia is biased and unfair, that the media focus on the bad news rather than on positive developments. There is certainly some truth in this – Western reporting on the Soviet Union and on Yeltsin and Putin’s Russia has varied between brilliant and insightful and downright incompetent. Nevertheless, Putin’s comments display a profound failure to understand what drives the 24/7 international news agenda. And as new reports by the World Bank and the Swedish Defense Research Agency make clear, it is hard to put a good spin on bad policies.

Russia’s World Bank data is accessible here and here. As shown below (click the graphic to see it full size), its score is down from the prior year in every one of the six assessed categories except political stability and is in the red warning area (bottom quartile in the world) in four of the six categories:


Russia’s “rule of law” score has now slipped into the bottom fifth of all 212 countries surveyed by the World Bank (that means 80% of the countries in the world, four out of five surveyed, have more respect for the law than Russia). Again, Putin’s Russia is in the bottom quartile among the 212 countries surveyed in four of the six categories (shown in red), including stability, and as high as the top half in none. It moved into the bottom quartile this year in two categories where it was above that level previously, and failed to climb out in the other two. It has a “minus” governance score in every category. The decline in “regulatory quality,” previously Russia’s area of highest achievement, was the most dramatic; here Russia’s percentile score fell from a score of 42 in 2005 to a score of 34 in 2006 — a decline of 20% in just one year. Russia’s highest percentile score now is the “governmental effectiveness” category, but this slipped from 41 last year to 38 this year.

The same pattern appears when comparing last year’s results to the year before that; Russia’s scores fell in four of six categories after the passage of one year. Comparing Russia’s scores to ten years ago, when according to the Putinites Russia was a total basket case on life support, shows that Russia is still in the bottom quartile in three categories (corruption, rule of law and stability), has fallen into the bottom quartile in voice/accountability, and has climbed out of the bottom quartile only in governmental effectiveness and regulatory quality. But those two improvements are marginal, since Russia still has negative scores in both areas and has lost ground in both areas in each of the past two years. Russia has sacrificed the freedom it enjoyed in the Yetsin years without making any significant progress towards becoming a successful state.

How can this banana republic possibly be a member of the G-8? How can it be allowed to host the Olympic Games? More important, how can such a disastrous regime, measured quantitatively, possibly enjoy 70%+ approval from the population, even as the population plunges and the entire world is alienated by cold-war policies? Has the world, and have the Russian people, gone mad?

Vladimir Putin has been an unmitigated disaster in Russia. He’s offering Russia “stability” — only in a relative sense, Russia is still a basket case by international standards in that criteria — at the price of every other aspect of civilized society being placed in retrograde. In other words, he’s offering exactly what Stalin offered. How long before Russia meets the USSR’s fate?

Another Day, Another International Review, Another Miserable, Humiliating Failing Grade for Vladimir Putin’s Russia

Well, the World Bank has just released its 2007 World Governance Indicators report, and once again a prestigious, respected international organization has trashed the Putin regime — which, once again, just as in Soviet times, has tried to blame foreign “russophobia” instead of undertaking needed reform. We’ve documented this phenomenon many times, here’s our summary for 2006, a joltingly dismal report card for Russia.

Even RIA Novosti gets it: Russia is unqualified for G-8 membership or any other role among the advanced nations of the world. RIA states:

This week, the World Bank Institute published its sixth annual Worldwide Governance Indicators. The Bank summarizes six aggregate indicators to arrive at an assessment of how well countries are governed: i) Voice & Accountability, ii) Political Stability and Lack of Violence/Terrorism, iii) Government Effectiveness, iv) Regulatory Quality v) Rule of Law and vi) Control of Corruption. Needless to say, the G7 and the OECD continue to boast the high values which indicate better governance – in other words, these are the advanced first-world countries, or those aspiring to become developed. But no matter how you slice and dice the data, Russia almost invariably appears far below the advanced countries and falls in the ranks of the lower percentiles, which indicate the percentage of countries worldwide that rate below the selected country. President Putin has frequently complained that international reporting on Russia is biased and unfair, that the media focus on the bad news rather than on positive developments. There is certainly some truth in this – Western reporting on the Soviet Union and on Yeltsin and Putin’s Russia has varied between brilliant and insightful and downright incompetent. Nevertheless, Putin’s comments display a profound failure to understand what drives the 24/7 international news agenda. And as new reports by the World Bank and the Swedish Defense Research Agency make clear, it is hard to put a good spin on bad policies.

Russia’s World Bank data is accessible here and here. As shown below (click the graphic to see it full size), its score is down from the prior year in every one of the six assessed categories except political stability and is in the red warning area (bottom quartile in the world) in four of the six categories:


Russia’s “rule of law” score has now slipped into the bottom fifth of all 212 countries surveyed by the World Bank (that means 80% of the countries in the world, four out of five surveyed, have more respect for the law than Russia). Again, Putin’s Russia is in the bottom quartile among the 212 countries surveyed in four of the six categories (shown in red), including stability, and as high as the top half in none. It moved into the bottom quartile this year in two categories where it was above that level previously, and failed to climb out in the other two. It has a “minus” governance score in every category. The decline in “regulatory quality,” previously Russia’s area of highest achievement, was the most dramatic; here Russia’s percentile score fell from a score of 42 in 2005 to a score of 34 in 2006 — a decline of 20% in just one year. Russia’s highest percentile score now is the “governmental effectiveness” category, but this slipped from 41 last year to 38 this year.

The same pattern appears when comparing last year’s results to the year before that; Russia’s scores fell in four of six categories after the passage of one year. Comparing Russia’s scores to ten years ago, when according to the Putinites Russia was a total basket case on life support, shows that Russia is still in the bottom quartile in three categories (corruption, rule of law and stability), has fallen into the bottom quartile in voice/accountability, and has climbed out of the bottom quartile only in governmental effectiveness and regulatory quality. But those two improvements are marginal, since Russia still has negative scores in both areas and has lost ground in both areas in each of the past two years. Russia has sacrificed the freedom it enjoyed in the Yetsin years without making any significant progress towards becoming a successful state.

How can this banana republic possibly be a member of the G-8? How can it be allowed to host the Olympic Games? More important, how can such a disastrous regime, measured quantitatively, possibly enjoy 70%+ approval from the population, even as the population plunges and the entire world is alienated by cold-war policies? Has the world, and have the Russian people, gone mad?

Vladimir Putin has been an unmitigated disaster in Russia. He’s offering Russia “stability” — only in a relative sense, Russia is still a basket case by international standards in that criteria — at the price of every other aspect of civilized society being placed in retrograde. In other words, he’s offering exactly what Stalin offered. How long before Russia meets the USSR’s fate?

Another Day, Another International Review, Another Miserable, Humiliating Failing Grade for Vladimir Putin’s Russia

Well, the World Bank has just released its 2007 World Governance Indicators report, and once again a prestigious, respected international organization has trashed the Putin regime — which, once again, just as in Soviet times, has tried to blame foreign “russophobia” instead of undertaking needed reform. We’ve documented this phenomenon many times, here’s our summary for 2006, a joltingly dismal report card for Russia.

Even RIA Novosti gets it: Russia is unqualified for G-8 membership or any other role among the advanced nations of the world. RIA states:

This week, the World Bank Institute published its sixth annual Worldwide Governance Indicators. The Bank summarizes six aggregate indicators to arrive at an assessment of how well countries are governed: i) Voice & Accountability, ii) Political Stability and Lack of Violence/Terrorism, iii) Government Effectiveness, iv) Regulatory Quality v) Rule of Law and vi) Control of Corruption. Needless to say, the G7 and the OECD continue to boast the high values which indicate better governance – in other words, these are the advanced first-world countries, or those aspiring to become developed. But no matter how you slice and dice the data, Russia almost invariably appears far below the advanced countries and falls in the ranks of the lower percentiles, which indicate the percentage of countries worldwide that rate below the selected country. President Putin has frequently complained that international reporting on Russia is biased and unfair, that the media focus on the bad news rather than on positive developments. There is certainly some truth in this – Western reporting on the Soviet Union and on Yeltsin and Putin’s Russia has varied between brilliant and insightful and downright incompetent. Nevertheless, Putin’s comments display a profound failure to understand what drives the 24/7 international news agenda. And as new reports by the World Bank and the Swedish Defense Research Agency make clear, it is hard to put a good spin on bad policies.

Russia’s World Bank data is accessible here and here. As shown below (click the graphic to see it full size), its score is down from the prior year in every one of the six assessed categories except political stability and is in the red warning area (bottom quartile in the world) in four of the six categories:


Russia’s “rule of law” score has now slipped into the bottom fifth of all 212 countries surveyed by the World Bank (that means 80% of the countries in the world, four out of five surveyed, have more respect for the law than Russia). Again, Putin’s Russia is in the bottom quartile among the 212 countries surveyed in four of the six categories (shown in red), including stability, and as high as the top half in none. It moved into the bottom quartile this year in two categories where it was above that level previously, and failed to climb out in the other two. It has a “minus” governance score in every category. The decline in “regulatory quality,” previously Russia’s area of highest achievement, was the most dramatic; here Russia’s percentile score fell from a score of 42 in 2005 to a score of 34 in 2006 — a decline of 20% in just one year. Russia’s highest percentile score now is the “governmental effectiveness” category, but this slipped from 41 last year to 38 this year.

The same pattern appears when comparing last year’s results to the year before that; Russia’s scores fell in four of six categories after the passage of one year. Comparing Russia’s scores to ten years ago, when according to the Putinites Russia was a total basket case on life support, shows that Russia is still in the bottom quartile in three categories (corruption, rule of law and stability), has fallen into the bottom quartile in voice/accountability, and has climbed out of the bottom quartile only in governmental effectiveness and regulatory quality. But those two improvements are marginal, since Russia still has negative scores in both areas and has lost ground in both areas in each of the past two years. Russia has sacrificed the freedom it enjoyed in the Yetsin years without making any significant progress towards becoming a successful state.

How can this banana republic possibly be a member of the G-8? How can it be allowed to host the Olympic Games? More important, how can such a disastrous regime, measured quantitatively, possibly enjoy 70%+ approval from the population, even as the population plunges and the entire world is alienated by cold-war policies? Has the world, and have the Russian people, gone mad?

Vladimir Putin has been an unmitigated disaster in Russia. He’s offering Russia “stability” — only in a relative sense, Russia is still a basket case by international standards in that criteria — at the price of every other aspect of civilized society being placed in retrograde. In other words, he’s offering exactly what Stalin offered. How long before Russia meets the USSR’s fate?

Another Day, Another International Review, Another Miserable, Humiliating Failing Grade for Vladimir Putin’s Russia

Well, the World Bank has just released its 2007 World Governance Indicators report, and once again a prestigious, respected international organization has trashed the Putin regime — which, once again, just as in Soviet times, has tried to blame foreign “russophobia” instead of undertaking needed reform. We’ve documented this phenomenon many times, here’s our summary for 2006, a joltingly dismal report card for Russia.

Even RIA Novosti gets it: Russia is unqualified for G-8 membership or any other role among the advanced nations of the world. RIA states:

This week, the World Bank Institute published its sixth annual Worldwide Governance Indicators. The Bank summarizes six aggregate indicators to arrive at an assessment of how well countries are governed: i) Voice & Accountability, ii) Political Stability and Lack of Violence/Terrorism, iii) Government Effectiveness, iv) Regulatory Quality v) Rule of Law and vi) Control of Corruption. Needless to say, the G7 and the OECD continue to boast the high values which indicate better governance – in other words, these are the advanced first-world countries, or those aspiring to become developed. But no matter how you slice and dice the data, Russia almost invariably appears far below the advanced countries and falls in the ranks of the lower percentiles, which indicate the percentage of countries worldwide that rate below the selected country. President Putin has frequently complained that international reporting on Russia is biased and unfair, that the media focus on the bad news rather than on positive developments. There is certainly some truth in this – Western reporting on the Soviet Union and on Yeltsin and Putin’s Russia has varied between brilliant and insightful and downright incompetent. Nevertheless, Putin’s comments display a profound failure to understand what drives the 24/7 international news agenda. And as new reports by the World Bank and the Swedish Defense Research Agency make clear, it is hard to put a good spin on bad policies.

Russia’s World Bank data is accessible here and here. As shown below (click the graphic to see it full size), its score is down from the prior year in every one of the six assessed categories except political stability and is in the red warning area (bottom quartile in the world) in four of the six categories:


Russia’s “rule of law” score has now slipped into the bottom fifth of all 212 countries surveyed by the World Bank (that means 80% of the countries in the world, four out of five surveyed, have more respect for the law than Russia). Again, Putin’s Russia is in the bottom quartile among the 212 countries surveyed in four of the six categories (shown in red), including stability, and as high as the top half in none. It moved into the bottom quartile this year in two categories where it was above that level previously, and failed to climb out in the other two. It has a “minus” governance score in every category. The decline in “regulatory quality,” previously Russia’s area of highest achievement, was the most dramatic; here Russia’s percentile score fell from a score of 42 in 2005 to a score of 34 in 2006 — a decline of 20% in just one year. Russia’s highest percentile score now is the “governmental effectiveness” category, but this slipped from 41 last year to 38 this year.

The same pattern appears when comparing last year’s results to the year before that; Russia’s scores fell in four of six categories after the passage of one year. Comparing Russia’s scores to ten years ago, when according to the Putinites Russia was a total basket case on life support, shows that Russia is still in the bottom quartile in three categories (corruption, rule of law and stability), has fallen into the bottom quartile in voice/accountability, and has climbed out of the bottom quartile only in governmental effectiveness and regulatory quality. But those two improvements are marginal, since Russia still has negative scores in both areas and has lost ground in both areas in each of the past two years. Russia has sacrificed the freedom it enjoyed in the Yetsin years without making any significant progress towards becoming a successful state.

How can this banana republic possibly be a member of the G-8? How can it be allowed to host the Olympic Games? More important, how can such a disastrous regime, measured quantitatively, possibly enjoy 70%+ approval from the population, even as the population plunges and the entire world is alienated by cold-war policies? Has the world, and have the Russian people, gone mad?

Vladimir Putin has been an unmitigated disaster in Russia. He’s offering Russia “stability” — only in a relative sense, Russia is still a basket case by international standards in that criteria — at the price of every other aspect of civilized society being placed in retrograde. In other words, he’s offering exactly what Stalin offered. How long before Russia meets the USSR’s fate?

The Past as Prologue

Writing in the Moscow Times Natasha Randall, whose translation of “We,” by Yevgeny Zamyatin, was published last year by The Modern Library, reviews The Archivist’s Story by Travis Holland:

The master short-story writer Isaac Babel was arrested by the NKVD in May 1939 and executed in January 1940. For a long time, it wasn’t clear when he died: His wife eventually learned of his demise 15 years after the fact. When he was arrested, all his papers were confiscated. His unpublished manuscripts were never found.

Travis Holland’s gripping debut novel, “The Archivist’s Story,” summons up this moment in time — the months during which Babel was incarcerated in the Lubyanka security-police headquarters — through the eyes of one of the Lubyanka’s archivists, Pavel Dubrov. Pavel is a former literature teacher who is now in the employ of the NKVD, responsible for organizing the archives of seized literary manuscripts in the basement of the notorious building on what was then known as Dzerzhinsky Square. His department is in the process of cataloging and then incinerating the manuscripts, file by file.

As the novel opens, Pavel is interviewing the newly imprisoned Babel about a discrepancy in the latter’s file. The scene is a quiet one: Pavel offers Babel some tea and feels pity for the author, who has had his glasses confiscated. “It is a small matter that brings them together. A story, untitled, unsigned, and by all appearances incomplete, which the officers in their haste have neglected to record in the evidence manifest.” Babel asks Pavel if he can be permitted to write a letter to his wife. “I’m sorry comrade,” is Pavel’s reply. “Understand, it’s not a matter of whether or not I’d like to help you.” Pavel is moved to tears by the author’s request but turns to the matter at hand. He shows the manuscript to Babel. “It’s mine,” the author concedes.

Indeed, Pavel cannot help Babel, for he has little or no power over the archives and the inmates of the Lubyanka. He takes his orders from a bureaucrat called Kutyrev who says: “I’m not really much of a reader.” As Pavel grows increasingly uncomfortable with the destruction of so much literary work, Kutyrev becomes suspicious. Pavel knows full well that Kutyrev may pass on his suspicion to his superiors.

Outside of work, Pavel leads a lonely life; his wife was killed in a train accident some years previously. He lives alone in an apartment block near the Donskoi Monastery, which overlooks the chimney stacks of a nearby cemetery’s crematorium. This is the crematorium that serves the Butyrka and Lefortovo prisons and the Lubyanka — disposing of the remains of their executed and starved.

The repeated journeys to the archive’s incinerator, and Kutyrev’s obnoxious philistine dogma, eventually take their toll. “Pavel is suddenly, powerfully sick to his core: of Kutyrev and his grinding, mindless ambition, of these deadening metal stacks and their dust, which Pavel can all but feel sticking in his lungs. Mostly, though, he is sick of himself.” Later that evening, as he is carting yet more manuscripts from stack to stack, Pavel is seized by an impulse. He takes the newly discovered Babel story, folds it and stuffs it down the back of his pants. Then he walks out of the Lubyanka and heads for home.
Holland’s measured narrative maintains a swift pace — it’s a suspenseful story, full of brushes with peril. Pavel’s act of sabotage could cost him his position, if not his life. But with the pressures of Stalinist life in 1939, something has to give. Adolf Hitler is beginning his offensive on Soviet territory, and Pavel’s friends and mentors are being threatened with arrest. After the meeting with Babel, Pavel’s work at the archive gains a new purpose — or, rather, it regains the original purpose of archival work: preservation.

So Pavel hides the short story, and then a second short story, behind some bricks in the wall of his apartment block’s basement. His neighbor, Natalya, a building attendant with whom he is having an intermittent love affair, notices something and says: “I could hear you the other night. Down in the basement.” He tells her he was looking for clothes among his boxes. “‘I don’t know,’ she says, ‘It doesn’t matter, Pavel. Whatever you were doing.'”

Meanwhile, a major called Radlov summons Pavel to his office — being noticed is a big sign of trouble to come. But it’s not clear what Radlov wants, other than to make Pavel nervous. The major says: “He killed himself. Gogol. Do you know how?” Pavel knows that Gogol starved himself. “‘Do you think,’ Radlov asks, ‘that because you’ve read his stories, you understand Gogol any better than those who knew him personally?'” Pavel isn’t sure what he is being asked. It seems that Radlov is trying to make Pavel articulate the distinction between an author’s work and life — to put a value on each. But Pavel can’t say a word: “To even speak of the disgraced dead is to risk joining them.”

Holland holds the reader in suspense as Kutyrev mysteriously intimates that Pavel’s career will end when he has finished incinerating all the manuscripts in the archive. But Pavel the archivist continues doing what he needs to do: He needs to preserve, and to build memorials. That’s why he steals manuscripts, hoards the letters of an arrested friend and even hides a handkerchief that Babel gave him. As his 58-year-old mother begins losing her memory due to a brain tumor, Pavel’s greatest fear becomes forgetting itself: “A day, one day, when his mother will no longer recognize him, will no longer remember their lives together. Two deaths then: her past, his.”

As trouble looms perceptibly for Pavel, Holland creates scene after ominous scene in a rather straightforward delivery. The writing is barely noticeable, in part because Holland’s descriptions are on the bland side. But the smoothness of the flow and the mounting tension soon engross the reader in Pavel’s fate. With Pavel, Holland competently explores a voice of conscience within one of the most brutal institutions in history. And it is a worthy and interesting voice, though Holland may have erred toward the melodramatic in his treatment.