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November 1916: The Second Knot of the Red Wheelby Aleksa Solzhenitsyn
Synopses & Reviews
In time for the centenary of the beginning of the Russian Revolution, a new edition of the Russian Nobelists major work
The month of November 1916 in Russia was outwardly quiet—the proverbial calm before the storm—but beneath the placid surface, society seethed fiercely.
In Petrograd, as St. Petersburg was then known, luxury-store windows are still brightly lit; the Duma debates the monarchy, the course of war, and clashing paths to reform; the workers in the miserable munitions factories veer toward sedition.
At the front, all is stalemate, while in the countryside sullen anxiety among hard-pressed farmers is rapidly replacing patriotism.
In Zurich, Lenin, with the smallest of all revolutionary groups, plots his sinister logistical miracle.
With masterly and moving empathy, through the eyes of both historical and fictional protagonists, Solzhenitsyn unforgettably transports us to that time and place—the last of pre-Soviet Russia.
November 1916 is the second volume in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyns multipart work, The Red Wheel. This volume concentrates on a historical turning point, or “knot,” as the wheel rolls inexorably toward revolution.
Book News Annotation:
The second in the Russian Nobel Laureate's four-volume series The Red Wheel, a Tolstoy-inspired and Tolstoy-sized novel of the months just before the Revolution. He portrays Petrograd luxury stores with windows brightly lit despite World War I; Duma debates about the monarchy, the course of the war, and the clashing paths to reform; and the increasing radicalization of workers in the munitions factories. He appends identifications of characters. Translated from Krasnoe koleso. Uzel II: Oktyabr shestnadtsatogo published by Voyennoye izdatelstvo, Moscow, in 1990. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (firstname.lastname@example.org)
About the Author
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature, was born in 1918. In February 1945, while he was captain of a reconnaissance battery of the Soviet Army, he was arrested and sentenced to an eight-year term in a labor camp and permanent internal exile, which was cut short by Khrushchev's reforms, allowing him to return from Kazakhstan to Central Russia in 1956. Although permitted to publish One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in 1962--which remained his only full-length work to have appeared in his homeland until 1990--Solzhenitsyn was by 1969 expelled from the Writers' Union. The publication in the West of his other novels and, in particular, of The Gulag Archipelago, brought retaliation from the authorities. In 1974, Solzhenitsyn was arrested, stripped of his Soviet citizenship, and forcibly flown to Frankfurt. Solzhenitsyn and his wife and children moved to the United States in 1976. In September 1991, the Soviet government dismissed treason charges against him; Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia in 1994. He died in Moscow in 2008.
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