Song to Kill a Giant:
Latvian Revolution and the Soviet Empire’s Fall
First digital English edition of the 2000 memoirs about the independence movement in 1988-1990 are available for free download at
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Book Description: 25 years ago, the people of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania united under broad democratic movements to demand from the Soviet Union the freedom which was taken from them in 1940. One can only admire the courage of these people who, armed only with songs and an urge for justice, challenged the Soviet giant. The world was shaken by this peaceful singing revolution, because it threatened the finely-adjusted bipolar balance of world order. Back then, hardly anyone believed that the Baltic States would even have a chance for greater autonomy in the Soviet Union, let alone their regaining independence.The success of the Baltic nation’s independence movements shook the Soviet Union at its foundation, and in 1991 lead to its collapse. The world as we had known it since the end of the Second World War had irreversibly changed forever. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, for those nations of Eastern Europe and the Baltics, who had been held captive behind the Iron Curtain, World War Two had finally come to an end.
To understand why, it is important to read Sandra Kalniete’s book; it tells the story of strategy and tactics, of the difficult choices and compromises which at every step of the way can threatened the ultimate goal in such mass movements. The success story of the people’s movements of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia can be used as an example for the many millions of people around the world who still yearn for freedom.
Since writing the book in 2000, Kalniete has gone on to become Latvia’s ambassador to the United Nations, France and UNESCO, her country’s foreign minister, Latvia’s first representative to the European Commission, and, in 2009, a member of the European Parliament. She is the author of several other books.