Bukovsky's landmark memoir To Build a Castle is now available for Amazon Kindle for 99 cents.

The author has chosen to forego making any money on the e-book. His goal is to make his international bestseller available to the most readers for the lowest price, because of his story's parallels and relevance to events in Russia today.

When To Build a Castle debuted in 1978, Ronald Reagan told his radio audience, "This book is important." Today, Russian activists Garry Kasparov and Pussy Riot are among those declaring the book worth reading in 2017 on its Amazon page

Download it now, or read the first chapter online.


Putin believes his mission is to restore the Soviet system as soon as possible. It leads him to repeat the same mistakes.
— Vladimir Bukovksy, on why he chose to give away To Build A Castle on Kindle
The great truth was that it was not rifles, not tanks, and not atom bombs that created power. Power depended upon public obedience, upon a will to submit.
— from To Build a Castle
Human Rights Foundation chairman Garry Kasparov, acclaimed playwright Sir Tom Stoppard, and Russian punk rockers Pussy Riot are among those who have contributed advance praise for the Kindle edition of a book that The New Yorker called "sometimes ironic, sometimes detached, sometimes written in cold fury, but always compelling."

Other Books

A Manual on Psychiatry for Dissenters - 1974. A samizdat guide, written with Dr. Semyon Gluzman, for other dissidents falsely diagnosed as mentally ill and imprisoned in Soviet psikhushka. (Copied, samizdat-style, from Russia's Political Hospitals by Sidney Bloch and Peter Reddaway, 1977.)

To Build a Castle - 1978. Now available on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents. (EPUB | MOBI | PDF) Bukovsky's bestselling memoir of how reading poetry and possessing forbidden literature led to twelve years incarcerated in Soviet mental institutions, labor camps, and prisons. Rather than fold, he built an inner fortress, hence the title. He also co-authored a survival guide for other dissident prisoners, and leaked 150 pages of psychiatric documents to the West, causing an international uproar by psychiatrists over the USSR's strategy of declaring opposition to the communist regime proof of mental illness and grounds for institutionalization.

The Curse of Complicity - 1979, a prepared speech for Benjamin Netanyahu's conference on international terrorism held in Jerusalem. 

Soviet Hypocrisy and Western Gullibility - 1987, with Sidney Hook and Paul Hollander. Bukovsky explains how the USSR had been able to manipulate Westerners eager for peace through classic Russian provokatsia -- covertly backing and funding the nuclear disarmament movement in Europe. 

To Choose Freedom - 1988. Published by Stanford's Hoover Institution, Bukovsky's plea to Westerners to see the failures of socialist solutions in the Soviet Union, and beware the similarities between powerful Western institutions and the Red Menace they loathed and feared.

Jugement à Moscou - 1995. Unavailable in English, this book's French translation includes minutes from Politburo meetings that Bukovsky smuggled from Russia. Bukovsky claims the Soviet regime will not be dead until there is a Nuremberg-like trial for the old party officials, now fronted by new leaders who present a friendly face to the West.

EUSSR 2004. A booklet co-authored with fellow dissident Pavel Stroilov, which includes confidential Soviet documents showing discussions between European and Russian leaders to create "a collectivist European Union state" that would give Moscow power over Europe and isolate America.

Articles & Essays

I strongly recommend that White House lawyers think about another flood of lawsuits, not from detainees but from the men and women in your armed services or the CIA agents who have been or will be engaged in cruel, inhumane or degrading practices. Our rich experience in Russia has shown that many will become alcoholics or drug addicts, violent criminals or, at the very least, despotic and abusive fathers and mothers.
— "Torture's Long Shadow"

Punitive Psychiatry - 1977. Introduction to Russia's Political Hospitals by Sidney Bloch and Peter Reddaway.

The Soul of Man Under Socialism - 1979. Excerpted from To Build a Castle, a first-person exposition of life in the USSR, where citizens were coerced to participate in their own day-to-day oppression, breaking their will and their hope in a way that guns and prisons could not.

Better Red Than Dead is not Good Enough - 1981. An essay in the Times charging that the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and other peace groups in Europe have been infiltrated by the Soviets.

The Peace Movement and the Soviet Union - 1982. Commentary magazine essay charging that the demand for peace with the Soviet Union is an invitation for conquest. 

The Night After the Battle Belongs to the Marauders - 1998. Bukovsky's recount of his return after 20 years to Moscow and the Lubyanka -- the former KGB building where many of the same officials still worked for the FSB.

Torture's Long Shadow - 2005. A torture survivor's powerful warning to Americans that abuse of prisoners has an inevitable result: The demoralization of the abusers themselves, as happened to his captors in Russia, and the moral numbing of the populace that sanctions their actions.

Licence to Kill - 2006. A warning in the The Times that President Putin had pushed through new legislation in Russia legally declaring critics of his regime "extremists," and allowing such extremists to be killed by Russian agents in any foreign country. Later that year, former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko was fatally poisoned after appearing along with Bukovsky on a "hit list" compiled by the FSB. Bukovsky's co-author, Oleg Gordievsky, was also poisoned and suffered serious injury.

Is Political Correctness worse than Leninism? - 2009. Text of a speech in Sofia, Bulgaria. "It is impossible to live in Utopia and it will always end with the gulag, because utopians never admit they are wrong ... Trust me, I am an old jailbird, and I know when it whiffs with prison."

The Power of Memory and Acknowledgement - 2010. An essay for the Cato Institute that decries the persistent dream of a socialist state in Europe. 

Soviet Archives

The Bukovsky Archives - 1992. Confidential state documents smuggled from Moscow by Bukovsky, including notes of high-level meetings with American leaders who offer quiet concessions in private, and European leaders who propose to join forces with Russia to dominate Europe together.

LiTvinenko Inquiry

Bukovsky's testimony - Royal Court of Justice, London, 17 March 2015. Bukovsky testified that the murdered ex-FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko, a friend, received death threats from some former colleagues, and tips from others that he was targeted for assassination. Bukovsky also explained that new Russian laws suggested the killing in London was authorized by President Putin himself, making it legal in Russia.



1988, Intercollegiate Studies Institute: Bukovsky with William Buckley, explaining why glasnost did not have his hopes up.

2008, Al Jazeera: David Frost interview on Russian elections, Putin, and Bukovsky's life in Soviet prisons.

2007, Britain on the Brink (DVD): Closing argument.

2009, Oslo Freedom Forum: "My Life as a Dissenter"

2009, Cato Institute: "The Power of Memory and Acknowledgement"