"Central to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's 'TheOak and the Calf'... is his critical, controversial portrait of the late Aleksandr Tvardovsky, editor of the liberal Soviet journalNovy Mir which launched Solzhenitsyn as awriter. Now we have a powerful rebuttal,written originally in samizdat by Novy Mir'sdeputy editor-literary critic who witnessedthe tense events Solzhenitsyn relates in hismemoir.... Point by point he takes onSolzhenitsyn's charges against Tvardovsky.... Lakshin's bill of particulars is notmere internecine squabble but rather an authentic attempt to right the record, a telling, important document."
- Publishers Weekly
"Vladimir Lakshin, a man of great stature,has defended Tvardovsky... providingenough information about Solzhenitsyn'smethods in the process to end many mysteries about him. And with his reputation forliterary excellence and personal honesty,Lakshin can be neither dismissed norexplained away..."
-George Feifer, Harpers
"Lakshin's book ... is also in its own way an interesting depiction of the life of Moscow's literary bureaucracy, a picture very different from the one Solzhenitsyn draws in 'The Oak and the Calf.'"
- Sidney Monas, The New York Times Book Review
"Vladimir Lakshin was the chief critic of the journal Novy Mir (New World) and the closest associate of its editor, Alexander Tvardovsky, when it published, in November 1962, Solzhenitsyn's short novel, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. The editors who performed the feat of bringing to light that revelation of the Stalinist prison camps have a right to be proud of their achievement, and of having attended at the birth in print of a new and powerful literary force. Lakshin in this book asserts their claim to credit and defends himself and Tvardovsky against the 'slanderous caricature' of them, and of the editorial board as a whole, which he finds in Solzhenitsyn's The Oak and the Calf... Lakshin's effort to set the record straight, to enter a defense for those who cannot defend themselves, is admirable. His book has great poignancy and power."
- Edward J. Brown, The New Republic