An excellent collection of interviews with leading figures of Catholic samizdat is the essential introduction to this topic. Ján Šimulčík's Svetlo z podzemia is much more than a "chronicle of Catholic samizdat"; he is interested not just in the fact of Catholic witness (an approach often seen in Polish writing, for example), but in the technology of opposition. Thus the reader learns from Šimulčík's brief introduction about the circles from which samiz­dat emerged, the techniques of printing used, the methods of dis­tribution, and much more. The bulk of the book is 14 interviews; here, too, Šimulčík pushes his subjects to explain the praxis of opposition. Peter Murdza supplies diagrams and photos of the hid­ing place for samizdat under the stairs in his home, and discusses the use of electronic equipment for locating bugs planted by the police; František Mikloško discusses contacts with the "lay" opposition; Ján Čarnogurský explains the use of legal means to fight police methods. Perhaps it is because the techniques of resis­tance still seem so obvious to participants (and to scholars) that few have bothered to explain what exactly one does as a dissident. This is a rare glimpse; the only comparable source that comes to mind are the interviews with leaders od the Polish underground, published under the title Konspira.

Padraic Kenney

What is the History of 1989? New Scholarship from East-Central Europe (East European Politics an Societies, Volume 13, No. 2, Spring 1999)