Time Magazine's Best Nonfiction Book of the Twentieth Century
Synopses & Reviews
Drawing on his own incarceration and exile, as well as on evidence from more than 200 fellow prisoners and Soviet archives, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn reveals the entire apparatus of Soviet repression the state within the state that ruled all-powerfully.
Through truly Shakespearean portraits of its victims men, women, and children we encounter secret police operations, labor camps and prisons; the uprooting or extermination of whole populations, the "welcome" that awaited Russian soldiers who had been German prisoners of war. Yet we also witness the astounding moral courage of the incorruptible, who, defenseless, endured great brutality and degradation.
The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 a grisly indictment of a regime, fashioned here into a veritable literary miracle has now been updated with a new introduction that includes the fall of the Soviet Union and Solzhenitsyn's move back to Russia.
About the Author
For privately criticizing Stalin while a Soviet soldier, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (b.1918) served eight years in the prison system that we know through him as the gulag. He became famous in 1962 with One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970. Because of The Gulag Archipelago, he was sent into exile in 1974; he settled in Vermont. His major works include the novels The First Circle and Cancer Ward, and the autobiographical The Oak and the Calf. Parts of his magnum opus, The Red Wheel, plus other books, await translation into English. In 1994, he returned home, as he predicted he would.