Christopher J. Lee, “Soviet Journey: A Critical Annotated Edition” (Lexington Books, 2017)

Kimberly speaks with Dr. Christopher J. Lee about his newest book A Soviet Journey: A Critical Annotated Edition (Lexington Books, 2017). A Soviet Journey was a travel memoir written by South African writer and anti-apartheid activist, Alex La Guma. The memoir describes La Guma’s experiences in Soviet Central Asia, Siberia, and Lithuania. La Guma’s notes on his travels in the Soviet Union in the 1970s provide insight on the lasting impact of the Soviet Union on writers and intellectuals from the Third World. Dr. Lee edited, annotated, and provided an analytical introduction to La Guma’s work. Lee’s addition to the book includes critical analysis of La Guma’s travel memoir. He places La Guma and the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) into the context of the Soviet role in anti-imperial struggle in the Third World and provides depth to our understanding of the African National Congress connection to radical groups like the CPSA. Lee also shows, through La Guma’s writing, how anti-apartheid activists saw the Soviet Union, particularly Soviet Central Asia, as a successful example of the Soviet anti-racist and anti-imperialist message.