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....Continua
Reread this in memory of Solzhenitsyn's death two days ago. The Gulag Archipelago is a powerful interpretation of history based on reports, memoirs and letters by 227 witnesses. In a world saturated with instant news, this book reminds us still of how powerful words could be in searing memories within our collective souls. Jean-Paul Sartre even described Solzhenitsyn as a "dangerous element" due to how threatening was the book to certain branches of the European left ....Continua