21 OCTOBER 1972, Page 27


Sir: In reply to Dr Bazarov's letter (October 7), Hodder and Stoughton are happy to be publishing the David Burg and George Feifer biography of Solzhenitsyn because they are fully satisfied that the book has been well researched, and that the material gathered has been deployed to give a fair picture of Solzhenitsyn. They feel that this biography can only enhance his world-wide reputation. These reasons have already been publicly stated in The Spectator, the Bookseller July 22) and Smiths Trade News (July 22).

As for his second point, Dr Bazarov is entitled to believe what he wants about those who vetted the manuscript for us: the truth is that the readers are not 'alleged' but acknowledged experts on Soviet affairs. When they gave their advice they asked to remain anonymous, as they did not wish to enter into the controversy surrounding the biography: we as publishers have no intention of laying them open to Dr Bazarov's next vituperative letter. Alan Gordon Walker Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, St Paul's House, Warwick Lane, London EC4