The Gulag Archipelago Volume 1
An Experiment in Literary Investigation
By Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
(Harper Perennial Modern Classics, Paperback, 9780061253713, 704pp.)
Publication Date: August 2007
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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
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.
This past week, Russia's education ministry announced that the country's high schools will now require students to read excerpts from Alexander Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago. Perhaps more than any other work, this formerly-banned book exposed the extent and horrors of Soviet oppression. NPR's correspondent in Moscow Anne Garrels says the education ministry's announcement should not be taken as a sign that Russian leaders are now prepared to fully and honestly confront the Stalinist past. The announcement comes amid a stream of pronouncements from the Kremlin about Russia's historic role and rightful place on the world stage. More at NPR.org
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“Best Nonfiction Book of the Twentieth Century”
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
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