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Virology and High-Risk Infections
Nadezhda Nikolaevna Basova (pp. 4–64).
This chapter contains Basova’s reminiscences about her career as a virologist. She provides insights into the life and work 
of  her husband, M.I. Levi. Also included are Levi’s reminiscences of  hosting Albert Sabin, who visited Kharkov, 
Ukraine, in July 1956.
As a high school student, Basova dreamed of  working at the I.I. Mechnikov Research Institute of  
Microbiology and Immunology in her hometown of  Kharkhov, Ukraine. Despite the disruptions 
of  war and evacuation to Central Asia, she completed her medical degree in 1947 and was hired by 
the Institute as a laboratory technician, and then as a junior scientist. Once the Institute opened a 
virology laboratory, she switched fields, from microbiology to virology. Basova spent the rest of  her 
career as a virologist working on viruses that cause hepatitis, influenza, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, 
poliomyelitis, and other diseases. In 1956, she left Kharkov and established the virology department 
at the Stavropol AP Institute.
Basova describes a wide range of  research done by her and colleagues. She includes sketches about 
many colleagues and about various aspects of  her life and work.
Ageless Mind
Yury Grigorevich Suchkov (pp. 65-105).
This  chapter  describes  M.I.  Levi’s  work  on  hospital  infection  control  after  leaving  the  AP  system,  as  well  as  his 
organization of  collaborative research projects among AP institutions. It contains reproductions of  several documents 
and correspondences pertaining to this work.
Suchkov, a colleague of  Levi at the Stavropol and Rostov-on-Don AP institutes, writes that from 1968 
until his death in 2002, Levi’s theoretical and applied research included specializations in sterilization 
technology and the prevention and treatment of  nosocomial infections. He organized research 
programs and worked vigorously to advocate and implement practical measures for improving public 
health.

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Miscellaneous Items from 1994-2001
Moisey Iosifovich Levi (posthumous) (pp. 106-15). One diagram.
This chapter consists of  three sections. The first contains various scientific and theoretical notes that Levi had written 
about  the  implications  of   canonical  and  contemporary  research  on  dormant  periods  in  epizootics.  The  next  section 
summarizes the key outcomes and points of  discussion at the jubilee conference held on the hundredth anniversary of  the 
Russian AP system in Saratov in 1997. The final section reports 10 principles upon which participants in a symposium 
on antibiotic therapy agreed through their discussions of  the papers presented at the conference.
In the notes published here, Levi discusses various hypotheses related to the culturability of  different 
forms of  sporulating and nonsporulating bacteria for the purpose of  studying organisms’ reactions to 
stress. He posits that if  unculturable forms of  sporulating bacteria exist, the documentation of  these 
forms is important.
125
  Levi also discusses other considerations for the formation of  unculturable forms 
of  chauvinism, the possible effect of  phages on unculturable forms, and the role that unculturable forms 
may play in explaining why periods occur between epizootic outbreaks. He presents a few hypotheses 
about the evolution of  sporulating bacteria and their ability to tolerate higher temperatures.
The second section is entitled “Historical Roots of  the Anti-plague System: Theses from a Report 
at the Anti-plague System Anniversary Conference, Saratov, 1997.” The summary of  the report was 
produced by the Experimental Laboratory Center of  the Moscow Municipal Disinfection Center. It 
highlights that there is a lack of  literature on the historical successes of  the AP system in lowering the 
danger of  high-risk infections to the population. Further, it reports that the conference considered the 
publication of  the Interesting Stories… as an important effort aimed at filling this gap.
The  third  section  is  entitled  “Major  Results  of   the  Scientific  Symposium  on  the  Organization  of  
Bacteriological Research During Controlled Antibiotic Therapy for Pyogenic Infection Patients.” The 
findings relate to best practices with respect to the timing of  isolating cultures from open wounds, the 
study of  the efficiency of  antibiotics to treat wounds, and the possible benefits of  localized antibiotic 
infusion therapy.
 Excerpt:
2. The risk of  plague infection has decreased considerably, in no small part due to the efforts of  
the AP system. It is worthwhile to analyze the results and successes of  these efforts. Therefore 
extra attention is being focused on the work from recent decades and the need to learn more.
125
  Note from the editors: By far, most of  bacteria that exist on Earth have yet to be studied and identified, largely 
because bioscientists are unable to artificially culture them. Unculturable bacteria therefore are challenging to investigate, 
but yet forever entice scientists to study them.

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3. As a result of  recent economic problems, there have been practically no new publications 
on historical topics. AP establishments and their employees have become impoverished, and 
employees, particularly younger ones, have been laid off. During this period, we decided to 
begin publishing Interesting Stories About the Activities and People of  the AP System of  Russia and the 
Soviet Union. We have already been able to publish five volumes, an average of one every six months.
4. A distinguishing feature of  the published volumes of  Interesting Stories… is that they 
are  devoted  to  practical  and  scientific  problems  in  the  fight  against  plague.  The  articles  in 
Interesting Stories… are primarily of  two types; in-depth reviews of  vital topics and stories about 
outstanding people of  the AP system. The reviews are rather high-level scientific writing for 
readers with a certain degree of  professional training. The best of  the non-scientific, anecdotal 
stories go beyond mere praise and positive assessments of  their subjects. […]
7. Given the demands of  the times through which we are living, we decided to slightly alter 
the profile of  Interesting Stories… and devote more space to original articles on the fundamental 
problems of  science, as well as expand the subject range beyond plague to include other high-
risk infections, too.
Socialism or a Just Society
Moisey Iosifovich Levi (posthumous) (pp. 116-37). 15 photographs.
This chapter consists of  a sociological essay that argues that societal development can and should be measured with 
social indicators rather than defined within the constraints of  a given ideology. Levi examines Soviet history and the 
transition to Russian democracy, as well as draws comparisons with social development in the United States. He posits 
that measuring social progress is an important work of  science that must be undertaken if  societies are to be conscious 
of  the reality of  their state, rather than trust in the accuracy of  ideology or faith.
Abridged translation:
Social scientists proceed from the entirely reasonable assumption that social structure is 
affected not only by changes in natural forces (population changes, migration, natural disasters, 
exhaustion of  nonrenewable natural resources, etc.), but also by conscious activity (philosophy, 
ideology, propaganda, politics, management of  the economy, etc.). One would like to believe 
that the determining factor is the conscious activity, and if  it is so, then the task of  outlining 
and formulating the goals of  social progress is one of  the most important areas of  political 
philosophy. If  these goals are acknowledged to be fundamentally unachievable, then they are 
called utopia (perpetual motion, for example), but those other [achievable] goals become the 
subjects of  heated arguments. In exactly the same way that morality dates back to the time of  
Moses’s tablets, the origin of  the concept of  social justice is lost in the depths of  centuries 
past. It is entirely understandable why new historians strive to differentiate the concepts 
of  social justice and social utopia. The present article is about defining the goals of  social 

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development as they are seen by the modern generation, and about the methods of  assessing 
society’s progress toward them.
The people who make up a society are initially heterogeneous. The task of  a democratic 
society is to provide them with approximately equal possibilities for development, though this 
is not sufficient to prevent subsequent economic and spiritual stratification, which is probably 
unavoidable in any society.
One task of  society is to improve the spiritual nature of  human beings. Religion, particularly 
Christianity, has had particular success in this regard. However, the improvement of  social 
structure, which is the subject of  this article, is a different task and cannot be reduced to the 
improvement of  individual people.
I was driven to write these notes out of  the need to formulate for myself  and others a concept 
of  the goal of  social progress. […]
Without a clearly expressed goal, social development loses its direction, and even in those cases 
where society achieves material well-being, its future is doubtful without a concept of  social 
development goals. Today, many people recognize that “there is no bread without freedom.” 
However, some people define the concepts of  bread and freedom too broadly.
If  I may dare to do so, I would like to present my concepts of  the social development goals 
for our country as follows:
1. A high level of  productive capacities comparable to the level of  developed countries, but 
without  destructive  effects  on  the  environment.  A  sufficient  standard  of   living  and  social 
protection for the vast majority of  the population.
2. A high level of  culture for most members of  society.
3. Equal rights for citizens of  different ethnic groups and people professing different religions.
4. A high level of  public consciousness, sufficient to establish a government by law and ensure 
human rights (according to internationally recognized concepts). Respect for personal rights.
5. Democratic forms for managing the central government and local governments. 
Representative governing bodies and various political parties based on freedom of  information.
These goals could be derided as socialism, but it is better not to use that term, because these 
goals do not mention forms of  ownership, public structure, ideology, or religion. The concept 
of the goals of social development should not be dependent on any kind of ideological “ism” or any social 
formation. If there is a desire to make it so, then the content of the “ism” must be precisely defined. […]

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For the last two centuries of  human history, people in power have been vowing that their only 
motivation is to achieve social progress as they understand it. Such was the case in our country, 
especially after the October Revolution, when our leaders daily or even hourly reassured us that 
they were building and strengthening a socialist structure. There is no need to discuss this in 
detail, but it is vitally necessary that we tirelessly repeat that nothing is further from the truth 
than to say that socialism was being constructed in our country.
In this article, we will not discuss the methods for achieving the social development goals 
formulated above. Nevertheless, it does make sense to recognize all the drama and tension of  
our post-revolutionary life and thereby highlight the need for a sober and objective evaluation 
of  the course of  social development.
After the New Economic Policy was strangled, Stalinist totalitarianism completely broke with 
reason, and the development of  society was characterized by an imperialistic mentality and 
chauvinism.
126
  Millions of  people were sacrificed at the altar of  misrepresented goals of  social 
development. The absence of  even nascent democracy allowed the authorities to be not only 
cruel, but even criminal. By now, so much has been written about this that there is hardly any 
sense in repeating it.
During the Khrushchev era, the Eastern despotism was partially destroyed. The slavish 
dependence of  workers on management disappeared; before that, a worker could not leave a 
job without the permission of  the management. Collective farm workers received passports and 
thereby obtained freedom of  movement. A large portion of  the convicted political criminals, be 
they still alive or already dead, were rehabilitated. The pace of  housing construction quickened. 
Some of  the most odious figures of  the KGB and party leadership were forced into oblivion. 
Culture was stimulated to some degree. Looking back, there is clearly a yawning gap between 
the accomplishments of  the Khrushchev thaw period and the characteristics of  a just society 
as mentioned at the beginning of  this article, but nevertheless, the influence of  the thaw on 
subsequent social development was enormous, if  not crucial.
127
  The seeds of  the thaw fell on 
poorly prepared soil, but nevertheless the sprouts were very important.
During the twilight of  the zastoy, social development appeared to slow down, but economic 
stagnation and the dissident movement delivered their sentence.
128
    […]
126
  The New Economic Policy (NEP) was instituted by Lenin in 1921, but was terminated when Stalin ordered the 
adoption of  the first Five-Year Plan in 1928. NEP allowed some aspects of  capitalism, such as private ownership 
of  property and small businesses. In fact, it gave a substantial boost to the Soviet economy that, at the time, was in 
desperate shape.
127
  The Khrushchev thaw (the Russian “ottepel” is commonly used) refers to the era of  Soviet history defined by the 
reversal of  many of  Stalin’s repressions. Many political prisoners were rehabilitated, and censorship was lifted somewhat.
128
  “Zastoy,” or “stagnation,” refers to the era of  Soviet history defined by slowed economic, social, and political 
development under Brezhnev, which preceded the perestroika (reform) period of  the 1980s.

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August 2013
In this sense, society is progressing especially slowly in the area of  culture and therefore great 
efforts are required. For example, I think that the bleeding wounds of  the United States—
drug addiction, crime, AIDS—are largely due to shortcomings in the area of  culture. In fact, 
the hordes of  rock musicians, the avalanche of  third-rate movies, and the constellation of  
semi-amateur theaters can’t be seen as cultural progress. There is no doubt that there are at 
least as many art museums in New York as in Paris, but the overall level of  culture in France 
is immeasurably higher than in the United States. This foretells serious social cataclysms in 
the world’s richest country, even though that country has been able to construct a workable 
multiracial society.
For many years, it was thought that public opinion could not be measured, although it was 
quite possible to perceive qualitative shifts, and this was the job of  politicians. However, for 20-
30 years now, many countries have had institutes that study public opinion, and in most cases 
they present an entirely objective picture. With rare exceptions, public opinion surveys give an 
adequate quantitative assessment and predict the results of  various elections and referendums. 
It seems to me that it is now time that sociologists have the opportunity to quantitatively assess 
the progress of  society toward a more just structure of  life in those five directions that were 
listed at the beginning of  this article. It is not a simple task, but it is doable. If  society were 
to have such a tool for the objective assessment of  the rate of  progress toward a more just 
structure of  life, the waves of  expert assessments, tainted with emotional outbreaks, would 
be replaced by more studied judgments about the activities of  our government leaders. At the 
same time, people in power would have a social mirror that they could look at once in a while. 
Various countries now have research establishments that assess the quality of  life, but these 
assessments cover mainly the economic aspect of  life. For example, countries can be ranked in 
a series based on an indicator such as the amount of  time it takes the average worker to earn 
1 kilogram of  meat. But this is only one indicator, and far from the most important. I think 
there should be a large, but finite, number of  indicators, and they should have an absolute and 
relative “value” for obtaining a comprehensive assessment of  society.
It is obvious that the goals of  social progress can be formulated, and that the social progress 
toward these goals can be determined. Therefore, the time has come to transfer the assessment 
of  the direction and rate of  social progress from the political sphere into the hands of  
representatives of  the natural science disciplines, because progress is a subject for science, not 
faith.
Thus, social progress must have clearly comprehensible goals. The movement toward a more 
just society can be assessed quantitatively and must not be obscured by ideology and faith, 
which in their own way can serve as a means, provided they do not contradict the moral and 
ethical norms of  humanity.

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Bibliography of  M.I. Levi (continued)
Editor (pp. 138-40). 25 references.
This chapter contains a bibliography of  M.I. Levi, continued from volume 10, pages 355-91, that features a listing 
of  25 works published in Selected Results in Bacteriological Diagnostics for the Program on Controlled 
Antibiotic Therapy of  Pyogenic Patients: Sixth Russian-Italian Scientific Conference, edited by M.I. Levi 
and Yu.G. Suchkov (St. Petersburg: VMA, 1999) and in Theses Addressed in the Anniversary Collection 
of  the Stavropol Anti-Plague Research Institute (Oct. 2002).
Pleasant Memories of  a Wonderful Person and Patriot, Moisey 
Iosifovich Levi
Ivan Semyonovich Khudyakov (pp. 141-49).
This chapter explains the author’s relationship with M.I. Levi, describing how the author became acquainted with Levi 
and his work. It also describes Levi’s organization of  international conferences and his attempts to find an artist to 
adapt the Interesting Stories… series as a literary or cinematographic work.
 Excerpt:
Moisey attended national forums in St. Petersburg organized by the departments of  general 
and military epidemiology, microbiology, infectious diseases, and general and military hygiene 
of  the Military Medical Academy and the Main Military-Medical Administration of  the Russian 
Federation Ministry of  Defense. He presented papers at these forums. He traveled to the 
All-Russian Conference of  Surgeons organized by the academy’s department of  inpatient 
surgery, where he met surgeons from the Commonwealth of  Independent States and beyond. 
This international conference was dedicated to the urgent problem of  pyogenic infections in 
surgical practice. Moisey presented important and interesting information on selecting the 
optimum antibiotic for patients with pyogenic infection. The surgeons at this session listened 
very intently.
In addition, immediately after the conference, Major General of  the Medical Service, Professor 
Yevgeny Konstantinovich Gumanenko, chairman of  the Department of  Inpatient Surgery at 
the Military Medical Academy, postponed all planned activities in the department and gave 
Moisey the opportunity to share his experience and his laboratory’s findings with the entire 
department, with no time limit. The information that Moisey presented at the plenary session 
of  the conference was of  great interest to the surgeons. There was an interesting conversation 
on the topic of  “Science as Practice.” I heard comments from prominent surgeons at the 
academy who had high praise for Moisey’s paper and asked for the chance to have more in-
depth discussions with this scientist from Moscow who, although not a surgeon, knew the 
needs of  surgical practice very well.

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August 2013
Several members of  Gumanenko’s department expressed the desire to develop a plan and do 
work in this area, and Moisey heartily agreed.
I had a memorable time with Moisey and Nadezhda Basova at the Isaak I. Rogozin Memorial 
Conference on May 13, 2000, celebrating the 100th anniversary of  Rogozin’s birth. The 
conference was organized by the Main Military-Medical Administration, the Military Medical 
Academy, and the Military-Medical Museum, along with the Rogozin’s own Department of  
General and Military Epidemiology at the academy, now headed by Professor Pavel Ivanovich 
Ogarkov. For the opening of  the conference, the museum prepared an exhibition of  Rogozin’s 
scientific works and personal effects. A book was published about this outstanding scientist 
and practitioner in the fields of  military and civilian health. The conference was interesting and 
insightful. Moisey’s participation was very touching. He really wanted to publish some of  the 
information in Interesting Stories… because it was directly related to the former director of  his 
beloved AP system.
Moisey and Nadezhda met Rogozin’s daughters Maya, who followed her father’s footsteps and 
spent her entire career in the AP system, and Galina, a teacher, as well as Rogozin’s close friends 
and colleagues from the Department of  General and Military Epidemiology, which Rogozin 
headed. The Rogozin family was very glad to meet Moisey and Nadezhda after hearing stories 
about them from friends and colleagues.
Always  wanting  to  preserve  the  memory  of   the  AP  system  and  its  heroic  figures,  Moisey 
looked for other forms and possibilities… Moisey said to me: “Give all 10 volumes of  our 
stories to Daniil A. Granin and ask him to look at them.
129
  As a patriotic writer, he should 
be interested in it.” I met with Daniil and, putting my entire heart into it and trying to be as 
convincing as possible, asked him to read Interesting Stories. He told me: “Tell Moisey that I’m 
truly impressed by his heroic and saintly activity and I approve his intentions in every way, but 
unfortunately I have to decline his request. I’m over 80 and God help me complete the works 
that I’ve already started and really have to finish.” Granin’s answer was a severe disappointment 
for Levi, but did not discourage him. He asked me to continue looking for a good writer in the 
Leningrad Writers’ Organization.
On the advice of  the well-known Leningrad poet Semyon Vladimirovich Botvinnik, I contacted 
the very popular writer Ilya Petrovich Shtemler and repeated Levi’s request. He listened to me 
very attentively and sympathetically, but also rejected the proposal, saying that he could not 
switch to writing about medicine and biology, topics far from his life experience, about which 
he still had plenty to write. He suggested I talk with three other writers who are younger than 
him and who work in different genres. He gave me their addresses and told me about each one.
129
  Daniil A. Granin is a St. Petersburg author of  a book on N.V. Timofeev-Resovsky, biologist and geneticist who was 
politically repressed during Soviet times.

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Stories of  the Soviet Anti-Plague System
I talked with each one in order. Two of  them really grilled me about it, and then turned down 
the idea. The third was interested, and then started listing a slew of  conditions that had to be 
fulfilled in order for him to write a literary work. Some of  the conditions seemed unjustified, 
excessive, and not entirely ethical. Nevertheless, I relayed the results of  my conversations to 
Moisey. I found out later than nothing constructive came of  it all.
Moisey had ideas about getting filmmakers interested in this material. It seemed like something 
positive was taking shape. One successful documentary film director from Moscow was very 
interested. It turns out that his parents had spent their entire careers in the AP system and 
owned a set of  Levi’s Interesting Stories…But later, for some reason, he cooled on the idea and 
lost interest, declining any further contacts. This was another severe blow for Moisey, but he 
never gave up. He felt that our country must have thousands of  sincere and truly creative 
writers, poets, filmmakers, and other professionals outside of  the creative arts unions, which 
have so much dead wood. It just could not be that not one of  them would be interested in our 
subject. We simply were not doing a good enough job of  showing the significance and urgent 
dynamism of  this exciting subject, showing them our lode of  dramatic material, “opening up” 
their souls, giving them a guilty conscience, or striking a patriotic chord that would inspire 
them to a burst of  creativity and spiritual awakening.

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