Synopses & Reviews
Volume 1 of the gripping epic masterpiece, Solzhenitsyn's chilling report of his arrest and interrogation, which exposed to the world the vast bureaucracy of secret police that haunted Soviet society
“Best Nonfiction Book of the Twentieth Century” Time magazine
"BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE 20TH CENTURY" --Time
Volume 1 of the gripping epic masterpiece, Solzhenitsyn's chilling report of his arrest and interrogation, which exposed to the world the vast bureaucracy of secret police that haunted Soviet society. Features a new foreword by Anne Applebaum.
"The greatest and most powerful single indictment of a political regime ever leveled in modern times." --George F. Kennan
"It is impossible to name a book that had a greater effect on the political and moral consciousness of the late twentieth century." --David Remnick, The New Yorker
"Solzhenitsyn's masterpiece. ... The Gulag Archipelago helped create the world we live in today." --Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag: A History, from the foreword
The history of the United Soviet Socialist Republics is a bloody one, especially before and during the time of Stalin. Tens of millions of innocent people were tortured, imprisoned and killed; entire minority populations were targeted. In The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn draws a harrowing portrait of four decades of Soviet repression.
Drawing on his own experiences before, during and after his eleven years of incarceration and exile, along with records from Soviet archives and the testimony of more than 200 fellow prisoners, Solzhenitsyn paints a shocking portrait of secret police operations, labor camps, prisons and executions. But The Gulag Archipelago is also the story of astonishing moral courage and incorruptibility amid brutality and degradation.
Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) was born in Kislovodsk, Russia in 1918. He was educated at the Moscow Institute of History, Philosophy and Literature and at the University of Rostov. He was a twice-decorated captain in the Soviet Army, but was stripped of his rank when arrested and convicted in 1945 of anti-Soviet actions. From 1945 until his exile from the U.S.S.R. in 1974 for treason, Solzhenitsyn was in and out of prisons and work camps. He settled in the United States and lived in relative isolation in Vermont. After twenty years in exile, Solzhenitsyn was welcomed back to his homeland in 1994. He was the recipient of many awards, including the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970 and the Medal of Honor for Literature in 1993.
"The best nonfiction book of the twentieth century." -- TIME
--George F. Kennan
About the Author
After serving as a decorated captain in the Soviet Army during World War II, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) was sentenced to prison for eight years for criticizing Stalin and the Soviet government in private letters. Solzhenitsyn vaulted from unknown schoolteacher to internationally famous writer in 1962 with the publication of his novella One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968. The writer's increasingly vocal opposition to the regime resulted in another arrest, a charge of treason, and expulsion from the USSR in 1974, the year The Gulag Archipelago, his epic history of the Soviet prison system, first appeared in the West. For eighteen years, he and his family lived in Vermont. In 1994 he returned to Russia. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn died at his home in Moscow in 2008.