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The Russian writer and Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was one of the truly monumental figures of the twentieth century.
After spending time in the Soviet gulag and pursuing the life of an underground writer, he was catapulted to international fame with the unexpected publication of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in 1962. His unyielding and courageous opposition to the twentieth century’s most powerful totalitarian regime eventually led to his exile to the West in 1974, where he was given a hero’s welcome. He was soon marginalized because his witness to the truth did not spare the West, yet all his writings have from the beginning illumined the age of ideology and spoken with depth and eloquence to the enduring human condition.
This reader, compiled by the distinguished Solzhenitsyn scholars Edward E. Ericson, Jr., and Daniel J. Mahoney with the cooperation of the Solzhenitsyn family, provides in one volume a rich and representative selection of Solzhenitsyn’s voluminous works. Reproduced in their entirety are early poems, early and late short stories, early and late “miniatures” (or prose poems), and many of Solzhenitsyn’s famous—and not-so-famous—essays and speeches. The volume also includes excerpts from Solzhenitsyn’s great novels, memoirs, books of political analysis and historical scholarship, and the literary and historical masterpieces The Gulag Archipelago and The Red Wheel. More than a quarter of the material has never before appeared in English (the author’s sons prepared many of the new translations themselves).
The Solzhenitsyn Reader reveals a writer of genius, an intransigent opponent of ideological tyranny and moral relativism, and a thinker and moral witness who is acutely sensitive to the great drama of good and evil that takes place within every human soul. It will be for many years the definitive Solzhenitsyn collection.