In this article Ann Komaromi proposes a new critical look at the history of Soviet dissidence by way of samizdat and the idea of a private-public sphere. Samizdat is defined in a less familiar way, as a particular mode of existence of the text, rather than in terms of political opposition or a social agenda. This allows for a broader view of dissidence that includes familiar phenomena like the civil rights or democratic movement, along with relatively little known national, cultural, musical, artistic, poetic, and philosophical groups. The multiple perspectives of Soviet dissidence correspond to a decentered view of a mixed private-public sphere that resembles Nancy Fraser's modification of Jürgen Habermas's classic public sphere. This model of a private-public sphere provokes new questions about unofficial institutions and structures, the dialectic between private and public impulses in Soviet samizdat, and the relationship of dissidents to foreign individuals and organizations. The empirical basis for this analysis is a survey of Soviet samizdat periodicals from 1956 to 1986.