"I believe profoundly that in the struggle against Communists and their organizations, we cannot and should not resort to the methods and forms employed by the Communists": First Edition of I Chose Freedom; Signed by Victor Kravchenko

  • I Chose Freedom: The Personal and Political Life of A Soviet Official.

I Chose Freedom: The Personal and Political Life of A Soviet Official.


Item Number: 4475

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1946.

First edition. Octavo, original cloth. Signed “With best wishes Victor A. Kravchenko” on the half title page. Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some rubbing to the spine ends. I Chose Freedom is one of the four influential books that informed the great political struggle known as the Cold War, the other were Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon (1940), Jan Valtin’s Out of the Night (1946), and Whittaker Chambers’ Witness (1952).

Victor Kravchenko was a Soviet defector who wrote of his life in the Soviet Union as a Soviet official in his classic book I Chose Freedom published in 1946. He also wrote about his experience under American capitalism. In 1944 he abandoned his post and requested political asylum in the United States. The Soviet authorities, however, demanded his immediate extradition, calling him a traitor. Ambassador Joseph E. Davies appealed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt directly on behalf of Stalin to have Kravchenko returned. He was granted asylum, but lived under a pseudonym thereafter, fearing assassination by Soviet agents.

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