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57 Hours: A Survivor's
Account of the Moscow
Hostage Drama

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Selected Articles and Essays by Paul Wilson

Some of these articles are available on this site in PDF, scroll down and see! You will need a copy of Acrobat Reader to open the PDF files.

"Ottawa in Bohemia," Saturday Night magazine, February 2005. (A profile of Edvard Outrata, a Czech-Canadian who, after a 25-year career as a top-level public servant in Ottawa, returns to his homeland with a mission: to reform the Czech civil service and make it, well, more like Canada's.)

"The Real Havana," Toro magazine, March 2005.

(A skeptical tourist looks at the dark side of Castro's socialist paradise.)


57 hours 57 Hours: A Survivor's Account of the Moscow Hostage Drama, by Vesselin Nedkov and Paul Wilson

From the Publisher:

This gripping first-person account of the Chechen hostage crisis has all the elements of a Hollywood movie: guns, martyrs and intrigue.

To celebrate the last night of a business trip in Moscow, Vesselin Nedkov and a friend picked up two tickets to the hottest show in town: the ground-breaking Broadway-style musical, Nord Ost. Halfway through the show, his life was changed forever.

57 Hours is Nedkov’s harrowing account of being trapped between two immovable and unpredictable forces: inside the theatre, suicidal Chechen rebels, loaded with explosives, demanded an end to the bloody civil war that was ravaging Chechnya; outside, Russian special forces prepared to storm the theatre, refusing to negotiate with the rebels.

Through fifty-seven hours of fear and fatigue, surrounded by desperate, trigger-happy terrorists and parents pleading for the release of their children, Nedkov discovered courage and ingenuity he never knew he had. In the end, 127 innocent people lost their lives, most succumbing to gas used by the Russian forces to facilitate their dramatic rescue.

Taking us into the maelstrom of the civil war that still plagues Russia, 57 Hours reminds us that in today’s unpredictable world, we too can become victims of far-removed conflicts and that we too must have courage and determination to protect the values of our civilization.


The Best Seat in the House," Saturday Night Magazine, March 2001. (On the sale of hockey memorabilia from Maple Leaf Gardens,)

"Urban Legend," an interview with Jane Jacobs, Saturday Night Magazine, March 2000. (One of the world's foremost writers on urban affairs talks about her new book, The Nature of Economies.)

"Vaclav Havel in Word and Deed," in Critical Essays on Vaclav Havel ed: Marketa Goetz-Stankewicz and Phyllis Carey. G. K. Hall & Co. New York. (1999) (A critical appreciation of Václav Havel's first eight years as president of his country.)

"When Absurd was Normal," Books in Canada, May 1998. (A review of Goodbye Samizdat: Twenty Years of Czechoslovak Underground Writing, edited by Marketa Goetz-Stankiewicz; on Czech dissident literature in the 1970s and 1980s.)


"Giving Free Rein," a conversation with Rohinton Mistry, Books in Canada, March 1996. (The acclaimed novelist Rohinton Mistry talks about his early days in Bombay, about moral fiction, and about his just published new novel, A Fine Balance.)

"Unlikely Hero," The New York Review of Books, September 23, 1993. (A review of Hope Dies Last: The Autobiography of Alexander Dubcek, edited and translated by Jirí Hochman.)

"Czechoslovakia: The Pain of Divorce," The New York Review of Books, December 15 1992. (A report on the final days of Czechoslovakia.)

"The Gardener of Bratislava," an unsigned Comment on Alexander Dubcek's death and funeral, The New Yorker, December 7, 1992.

"The End of the Velvet Revolution," The New York Review of Books, July 17, 1992. (An account of the 1992 elections in Czechoslovakia and the political crisis that later led to the breakup of the country.)

"Growing up with Orwell," in Best Canadian Essays, Fifth House, Saskatoon. (1991) (An autobiographical essay about the author's experiences in London and Czechoslovakia in the 1960s and 1970s, and how they affected his reading of George Orwell's work.) Read this article now in PDF

"Keepers of the Looking Glass: Some thoughts on Translation," The Brick Reader, Coach House Press, Toronto. (1991)

"Inside the Revolution," Saturday Night, November 1990. (On Havel and the Velvet Revolution.)

"The High Road to Democracy," The Idler, September/October 1990. (A report on the first free elections in Czechosovakia in June, 1990.) Read this article now in PDF

"The Mobilizirungseffekt," The Idler, March 1990. (An eyewitness account of the the wave of revolutions that swept through Central Europe in late 1989.)

"Religious Movements in Czechoslovakia: Faith or Fashion?" Crosscurrents No. 7, Ann Arbor, 1998. (On the political undercurrents of one religious revival.) Read this article now in PDF






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