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The Gulag Archipelago Paperback – January 3, 2003
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"To live now and not to know this work is to be a kind of historical fool missing a crucial part of the consciousness of the age" -- W.L. Webb * Guardian * "The ferocious testimony of a man of genius" -- Stephen Spender * London Magazine * "What gives the book its value is the sound it gives out; the harsh roar give out by a wise and experienced animal as a warning that the herd is in danger" -- Rebecca West * Sunday Telegraph * "He is one of the towering figures of the age as a writer, as moralist, as hero... in The Gulag Archipelago he has acheived the impossible" -- Edward Crankshaw * Observer *
About the Author
Aleksander Solzhenitsyn was born in Kislovodsk, Russia, in 1918. He was brought up in Rostov, where he graduated in mathematics and physics in 1941. After distinguished service with the Red Army in the Second World War, he was imprisoned from 1945 to 1953 for making unfavourable remarks about Josef Stalin. He was rehabilitated in 1956, but in 1969 he was expelled from the Soviet Writers' Union for denouncing official censorship of his work. He was forcibly exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974 and deported to West Germany. Later he settled in America, but after Soviet officials finally dropped charges against him in 1991, he returned to his homeland in 1994 and died in August 2008, aged 89. He has written many books, of which One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Cancer Ward and The Gulag Archipelago are his best known.
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I'm writing this review so people will know they are buying the abridged version and not as an attempt to trash this masterwork. This is a great book! Because of this it should be read in its entirety.
Also, as an eBook there is no reason all 3 books could not be sold as one...after all, there is no weight to them.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is a master with words. The book takes time to read because you're constantly thinking about what you've just read. The content will leave you dumbfounded! This should be a set book in schools. If this information were well known to our younger generations, perhaps the world would be a different place and our future more secure.
There is so much that can be learned from reading this book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who believes that we can learn from history.
The Gulag is a book that covers a long and horrifying period of Russian history, of enslavement and brutality, with astonishing mortality rates. Of those who did not perish, few retained any semblance of physical or mental health. The author is perhaps the only survivor with the intellectual strength and determination to remember and recount the horrors of that period. Throughout the book there is a sense that there is much, much more to tell, that the author is restraining himself from unleashing the full flood and overwhelming the reader. This book is not a relaxing read, it is heavy going but you will find yourself going back and re-reading passages, scarcely able to accept that humans are capable of such cruelty to their fellows, with no limit to their ability to dream up new and more imaginative forms of punishment. At the same time intense anger and frustration abounds; not directed towards the camp guards and administrators, but to all those who knew something, said nothing, condoned everything. Especially in the west, the free world, the land of the 'useful idiots' and the gullible.
Sadly, the story seems to be slipping into obscurity; young people I talk to stare blankly when I refer to The Gulag Archipelago The Gulag Archipelago The message is no less relevent today, and this publication presents it well.
EDIT: The translation that I read, and loved, was by Thomas P. Whitney. It's an old paperback book, gray cover, blue font on cover.
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I will donate to library.Read more