Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Overview
 
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (soʊlʒəˈniːtsɨn , ɐlʲɪˈksandr ɪˈsaɪvʲɪtɕ səlʐɨˈnʲitsɨn; 11 December 1918 – 3 August 2008) was a
Russian
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 and Soviet novelist, dramatist, and historian. Through his often-suppressed writings, he helped to raise global awareness of the Gulag
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

's forced labor camp system – particularly in The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago is a book by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn based on the Soviet forced labor and concentration camp system. The three-volume book is a narrative relying on eyewitness testimony and primary research material, as well as the author's own experiences as a prisoner in a gulag labor camp...

and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is a novel written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, first published in November 1962 in the Soviet literary magazine Novy Mir . The story is set in a Soviet labor camp in the 1950s, and describes a single day of an ordinary prisoner, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov...

, two of his best-known works. Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

 in 1970.
Quotations

Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.

Letter to three students (October 1967) as translated in Solzhenitsyn: A Documentary Record (1970) edited by Leopold Labedz (1970) “The Struggle Intensifies"

One should never direct people towards happiness, because happiness too is an idol of the market-place. One should direct them towards mutual affection. A beast gnawing at its prey can be happy too, but only human beings can feel affection for each other, and this is the highest achievement they can aspire to.

Shulubin, in Cancer Ward (1968) Pt. 2, Ch. 10

Blow the dust off the clock. Your watches are behind the times. Throw open the heavy curtains which are so dear to you — you do not even suspect that the day has already dawned outside.

Letter to the Secretariat of the Soviet Writers’ Union (12 November 1969) as translated in Solzhenitsyn: A Documentary Record (1970) edited by Leopold Labedz (1970) “Expulsion"

It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes. It may even lie on the surface; but we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions — especially selfish ones.

"Peace and Violence" (1973)

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

The Gulag Archipelago (1973)

In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.

As quoted in The Observer (29 December 1974)

For us in Russia, communism is a dead dog, while, for many people in the West, it is still a living lion.

BBC Radio broadcast, Russian service, as quoted in The Listener|The Listener (15 February 1979)

Encyclopedia
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (soʊlʒəˈniːtsɨn , ɐlʲɪˈksandr ɪˈsaɪvʲɪtɕ səlʐɨˈnʲitsɨn; 11 December 1918 – 3 August 2008) was a
Russian
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 and Soviet novelist, dramatist, and historian. Through his often-suppressed writings, he helped to raise global awareness of the Gulag
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

's forced labor camp system – particularly in The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago is a book by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn based on the Soviet forced labor and concentration camp system. The three-volume book is a narrative relying on eyewitness testimony and primary research material, as well as the author's own experiences as a prisoner in a gulag labor camp...

and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is a novel written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, first published in November 1962 in the Soviet literary magazine Novy Mir . The story is set in a Soviet labor camp in the 1950s, and describes a single day of an ordinary prisoner, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov...

, two of his best-known works. Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

 in 1970. He was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974, but returned to Russia in 1994 after the Soviet system had collapsed.

Early years

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born in Kislovodsk
Kislovodsk
Kislovodsk is a city in Stavropol Krai, Russia, which lies in the North Caucasian region of the country, between the Black and Caspian Seas. The closest airport is located in the city of Mineralnye Vody. Population:...

, RSFSR
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic , commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, Bolshevik Russia, or simply Russia, was the largest, most populous and economically developed republic in the former Soviet Union....

 (now in Stavropol Krai
Stavropol Krai
Stavropol Krai is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Stavropol. Population: -Geography:Stavropol Krai encompasses the central part of the Fore-Caucasus and most of the northern slopes of Caucasus Major...

, Russia). His mother, Taisiya Solzhenitsyna (née Shcherbak) was Ukrainian
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

. Her father had apparently risen from humble beginnings, as something of a self-made man. Eventually, he acquired a large estate in the Kuban
Kuban
Kuban is a geographic region of Southern Russia surrounding the Kuban River, on the Black Sea between the Don Steppe, Volga Delta and the Caucasus...

 region in the northern foothills of the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

. During World War I, Taisiya went to Moscow to study. While there she met and married Isaakiy Solzhenitsyn, a young officer in the Imperial Russian Army
Imperial Russian Army
The Imperial Russian Army was the land armed force of the Russian Empire, active from around 1721 to the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the early 1850s, the Russian army consisted of around 938,731 regular soldiers and 245,850 irregulars . Until the time of military reform of Dmitry Milyutin in...

 of Cossack
Cossack
Cossacks are a group of predominantly East Slavic people who originally were members of democratic, semi-military communities in what is today Ukraine and Southern Russia inhabiting sparsely populated areas and islands in the lower Dnieper and Don basins and who played an important role in the...

 origins and fellow native of the Caucasus region. The family background of his parents is vividly brought to life in the opening chapters of August 1914, and in the later Red Wheel
The Red Wheel
The Red Wheel is a cycle of novels by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, retelling and exploring the passing of Imperial Russia and the birth-pangs of the Soviet Union...

novels.

In 1918, Taisia became pregnant with Aleksandr. Shortly after her pregnancy was confirmed, Isaakiy was killed in a hunting accident. Aleksandr was then raised by his widowed mother and aunt in lowly circumstances. His earliest years coincided with the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

. By 1930 the family property had been turned into a collective farm
Kolkhoz
A kolkhoz , plural kolkhozy, was a form of collective farming in the Soviet Union that existed along with state farms . The word is a contraction of коллекти́вное хозя́йство, or "collective farm", while sovkhoz is a contraction of советское хозяйство...

. Later, Solzhenitsyn recalled that his mother had fought for survival and that they had to keep his father's background in the old Imperial Army a secret. His educated mother (who never remarried) encouraged his literary and scientific learnings and raised him in the Russian Orthodox
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 faith; she died in 1944.

As early as 1936, Solzhenitsyn was developing the characters and concepts for a planned epic work on the First World War and the Russian Revolution. This eventually led to the novel August 1914 – some of the chapters he wrote then still survive. Solzhenitsyn studied mathematics at Rostov State University. At the same time he took correspondence courses from the Moscow Institute of Philosophy, Literature and History, at this time heavily ideological in scope. As he himself makes clear, he did not question the state ideology or the superiority of the Soviet Union until he spent time in the camps.

On 7 April 1940, while at the university, Solzhenitsyn married a chemistry student Natalia Alekseevna Reshetovskaya. They divorced in 1952 (a year before his release from the Gulag
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

); he remarried her in 1957 and they divorced again in 1972. The following year (1973) he married his second wife, Natalia Dmitrievna Svetlova, a mathematician who had a son from a brief prior marriage. He and Svetlova (b. 1939) had three sons: Yermolai (1970), Ignat (1972), and Stepan (1973).

WWII

During World War II Solzhenitsyn served as the commander of a sound-ranging battery in the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

, was involved in major action at the front, and twice decorated. A series of writings published late in his life, including the early uncompleted novel Love the Revolution!, chronicle his World War II experience and his growing doubts about the moral foundations of the Soviet regime.

Imprisonment

In February 1945, while serving in East Prussia
East Prussia
East Prussia is the main part of the region of Prussia along the southeastern Baltic Coast from the 13th century to the end of World War II in May 1945. From 1772–1829 and 1878–1945, the Province of East Prussia was part of the German state of Prussia. The capital city was Königsberg.East Prussia...

, Solzhenitsyn was arrested for writing derogatory comments in letters to a friend, Nikolai Vitkevich, about the conduct of the war by Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

, whom he called Khozyain
Khozyain
Khozyain sometimes khozain is a Russian word meaning "owner", describing a certain type of political leader.The term's applicability to the politicians originates from the Russian word khozyain , usually the oldest male entrusted with the welfare of the family...

" ("the master"), and "Balabos", (Yiddish
Yiddish dialects
Yiddish dialects are varieties of the Yiddish language. These dialects are divided by originating region in Europe. Northeastern "Litvish" Yiddish was dominant in twentieth-century Yiddish culture and academia, while Southern dialects of Yiddish are now the most commonly spoken, preserved by many...

 rendering of Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 baal ha-bayiθ for "master of the house"). He was accused of anti-Soviet propaganda under Article 58 paragraph 10 of the Soviet criminal code, and of "founding a hostile organization" under paragraph 11. Solzhenitsyn was taken to the Lubyanka
Lubyanka
Lubyanka or Lubianka may refer to:*Lubyanka Square, Moscow*Bolshaya Lubyanka Street, Moscow*Lubyanka Building, former KGB headquarters and prison at Lubyanka Square, Moscow*Lubyanka , a metro station in MoscowPlaces in Poland called Lubianka...

 prison in Moscow, where he was beaten and interrogated. On 7 July 1945, he was sentenced in his absence by Special Council of the NKVD
Special Council of the NKVD
Special Council of the USSR NKVD was created by the same decree of Sovnarkom of July 10, 1934 that introduced the NKVD itself. By the decree, the Special Council was endowed with the rights to apply punishments "by administrative means," i.e., without trial...

 to an eight-year term in a labor camp
Labor camp
A labor camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are forced to engage in penal labor. Labor camps have many common aspects with slavery and with prisons...

. This was the normal sentence for most crimes under Article 58 at the time.

The first part of Solzhenitsyn's sentence was served in several different work camps; the "middle phase," as he later referred to it, was spent in a sharashka
Sharashka
Sharashka was an informal name for secret research and development laboratories in the Soviet Gulag labor camp system...

(i.e., a special scientific research facility run by Ministry of State Security), where he met Lev Kopelev
Lev Kopelev
Lev Zalmanovich Kopelev was a Soviet author and a dissident.- Biography :...

, upon whom he based the character of Lev Rubin in his book The First Circle
The First Circle
In the First Circle is a novel by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn released in 1968. A fuller version of the book was published in English in 2009....

, published in a self-censored or "distorted" version in the West in 1968 (an English translation of the full version was eventually published by Harper Perennial in October 2009). In 1950, he was sent to a "Special Camp" for political prisoners. During his imprisonment at the camp in the town of Ekibastuz
Ekibastuz
Ekibastuz is a town in Pavlodar Province, northeastern Kazakhstan. it had a population of 141,000. It is served by Ekibastuz Airport.-History:...

 in Kazakhstan, he worked as a miner, bricklayer, and foundry foreman. His experiences at Ekibastuz formed the basis for the book One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is a novel written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, first published in November 1962 in the Soviet literary magazine Novy Mir . The story is set in a Soviet labor camp in the 1950s, and describes a single day of an ordinary prisoner, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov...

. One of his fellow political prisoners, Ion Moraru
Ion Moraru
Ion Moraru is a Moldovan activist and author. He was a founder of the anti-Soviet group Sabia Dreptăţii and a political prisoner in the Soviet Union.- Biography :...

, remembers that Solzhenitsyn spent some of his time at Ekibastuz writing. While there he had a tumor removed, although his cancer was not diagnosed at the time.

In March 1953 after the expiry of Solzhenitsyn's sentence, he was sent to internal exile for life at Kok-Terek in the northeastern region of Kazakhstan, very close to the current border with Russia, as was common for political prisoners. His undiagnosed cancer spread until, by the end of the year, he was close to death. However, in 1954, he was permitted to be treated in a hospital in Tashkent
Tashkent
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and of the Tashkent Province. The officially registered population of the city in 2008 was about 2.2 million. Unofficial sources estimate the actual population may be as much as 4.45 million.-Early Islamic History:...

, where his tumor went into remission. His experiences there became the basis of his novel Cancer Ward and also found an echo in the short story "The right hand." It was during this decade of imprisonment and exile that Solzhenitsyn abandoned Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 and developed the philosophical and religious positions of his later life; this turn has some interesting parallels to Fyodor Dostoyevsky's time in Siberia and his quest for faith a hundred years earlier. Solzhenitsyn gradually turned into a philosophically-minded Christian as a result of his experience in prison and the camps. He repented for some of his actions as a Red Army captain, and in prison compared himself to the perpetrators of the Gulag: "I remember myself in my captain's shoulder boards and the forward march of my battery through East Prussia, enshrouded in fire, and I say: 'So were we any better?'" His transformation is described at some length in the fourth part of The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago is a book by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn based on the Soviet forced labor and concentration camp system. The three-volume book is a narrative relying on eyewitness testimony and primary research material, as well as the author's own experiences as a prisoner in a gulag labor camp...

("The Soul and Barbed Wire"). The narrative poem The Trail (written without benefit of pen or paper in prison and camps between 1947 and 1952) and the 28 poems composed in prison, forced-labor camp, and exile also provide crucial material for understanding Solzhenitsyn's intellectual and spiritual odyssey during this period. These "early" works, largely unknown in the West, were published for the first time in Russian in 1999 and excerpted in English in 2006.

After prison

After Khrushchev's Secret Speech in 1956 Solzhenitsyn was freed from exile and exonerated. After his return to European Russia, Solzhenitsyn was, while teaching at a secondary school during the day, spending his nights secretly engaged in writing. In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech he wrote, "during all the years until 1961, not only was I convinced I should never see a single line of mine in print in my lifetime, but, also, I scarcely dared allow any of my close acquaintances to read anything I had written because I feared this would become known."

In the 1960s while he was publicly known to be writing Cancer Ward, he was simultaneously writing The Gulag Archipelago. The KGB found out about this. Finally, aged 42, he approached Aleksandr Tvardovsky
Aleksandr Tvardovsky
Aleksandr Trifonovich Tvardovsky was a Soviet poet, chief editor of Novy Mir literary magazine from 1950 to 1954 and 1958 to 1970...

, a poet and the chief editor of the Noviy Mir magazine, with the manuscript of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. It was published in edited form in 1962, with the explicit approval of Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

, who defended it at the presidium of the Politburo hearing on whether to allow its publishing, and added: "There's a Stalinist in each of you; there's even a Stalinist in me. We must root out this evil." The book became an instant hit and sold-out everywhere. During Khrushchev's tenure, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was studied in schools in the Soviet Union as were three more short works of Solzhenitsyn's, including his acclaimed short story Matryona's Home, were published in 1963. These would be the last of his works published in the Soviet Union until 1990.

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich brought the Soviet system of prison labor to the attention of the West. It caused as much of a sensation in the Soviet Union as it did in the West—not only by its striking realism and candour, but also because it was the first major piece of Soviet literature since the twenties on a politically charged theme, written by a non-party member, indeed a man who had been to Siberia for "libelous speech" about the leaders, and yet its publication had been officially permitted. In this sense, the publication of Solzhenitsyn's story was an almost unheard of instance of free, unrestrained discussion of politics through literature. Most Soviet readers realized this, but after Khrushchev had been ousted from power in 1964, the time for such raw exposing works came quietly, but perceptibly, to a close.

Persecutions

Solzhenitsyn made an unsuccessful attempt, with the help of Tvardovsky, to get his novel, The Cancer Ward, legally published in the Soviet Union. This had to get the approval of the Union of Writers
Union of Writers
can refer to:* USSR Union of Writers formed in 1932* L'Union des Ecrivains formed in 1968** Members included:*** Françoise Mallet-Joris*** Alain Jouffroy*** Jean-Paul Sartre*** Eugène Guillevic*** Michel Butor...

. Though some there appreciated it, the work ultimately was denied publication unless it was to be revised and cleaned of suspect statements and anti-Soviet insinuations (this episode is recounted and documented in The Oak and the Calf
The Oak and the Calf
The Oak and the Calf, subtitled Sketches of Literary Life in the Soviet Union, is a memoir by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn about his attempts to have his work published in his own country. The book was begun in April 1967 when Solzhenitsyn was 49 years old, but supplements were added by the author in...

).

The publishing of his work quickly stopped; as a writer, he became a non-person, and, by 1965, the KGB
KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

 had seized some of his papers, including the manuscript of The First Circle. Meanwhile Solzhenitsyn continued to secretly and feverishly work upon the most subversive of all his writings, the monumental The Gulag Archipelago. The seizing of his novel manuscript first made him desperate and frightened, but gradually he realized that it had set him free from the pretenses and trappings of being an "officially acclaimed" writer, something which had come close to second nature, but which was becoming increasingly irrelevant.

After the KGB had confiscated Solzhenitsyn's materials in Moscow, during 1965–1967 the preparatory drafts of The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago is a book by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn based on the Soviet forced labor and concentration camp system. The three-volume book is a narrative relying on eyewitness testimony and primary research material, as well as the author's own experiences as a prisoner in a gulag labor camp...

were turned into finished typescript in hiding at his friends' homes in Estonia. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn had befriended Arnold Susi
Arnold Susi
Arnold Susi was a lawyer and the Minister of Education in the Estonian Otto Tief's government established on 18 September 1944 during WWII. He befriended Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in Soviet prison. -References:...

, a lawyer and former Estonian Minister of Education in a Lubyanka
Lubyanka
Lubyanka or Lubianka may refer to:*Lubyanka Square, Moscow*Bolshaya Lubyanka Street, Moscow*Lubyanka Building, former KGB headquarters and prison at Lubyanka Square, Moscow*Lubyanka , a metro station in MoscowPlaces in Poland called Lubianka...

 Prison cell. After completion, Solzhenitsyn's original handwritten script was kept hidden from the KGB in Estonia by Arnold Susi's daughter Heli Susi until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In 1969 Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the Union of Writers. In 1970, Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

. He could not receive the prize personally in Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

 at that time, since he was afraid he would not be let back into the Soviet Union. Instead, it was suggested he should receive the prize in a special ceremony at the Swedish embassy in Moscow. The Swedish government refused to accept this solution, however, since such a ceremony and the ensuing media coverage might upset the Soviet Union and damage Sweden's relations with the superpower. Instead, Solzhenitsyn received his prize at the 1974 ceremony after he had been deported from the Soviet Union.

The Gulag Archipelago was composed during 1958–1967. This work was a three-volume, seven part work on the Soviet prison camp system (Solzhenitsyn never had all seven parts of the work in front of him at any one time). The Gulag Archipelago has sold over thirty million copies in thirty-five languages. It was based upon Solzhenitsyn's own experience as well as the testimony of 256 former prisoners and Solzhenitsyn's own research into the history of the penal system. It discussed the system's origins from the founding of the Communist regime, with Lenin himself having responsibility, detailing interrogation procedures, prisoner transports, prison camp culture, prisoner uprisings and revolts
Kengir uprising
The Kengir uprising was a prisoner uprising that took place in the Soviet prison labor camp Kengir in May and June 1954. Its duration and intensity distinguished it from other Gulag uprisings in the same period ....

, and the practice of internal exile
Internal Exile
Internal Exile was Fish's second solo album after leaving Marillion in 1988. The album, released 28 October 1991, was inspired by the singer's past, his own personal problems and his troubled experiences with his previous record label EMI.The album's music reflects Fish's indulgence in the vast...

.

The Gulag Archipelagos rich and varied authorial voice, its unique weaving together of personal testimony, philosophical analysis, and historical investigation, and its unrelenting indictment of communist ideology made The Gulag Archipelago one of the most consequential books of the twentieth century. The appearance of the book in the West put the word gulag
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

 into the Western political vocabulary and guaranteed swift retribution from the Soviet authorities.

During this period, he was sheltered by the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich
Mstislav Rostropovich
Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich, KBE , known to close friends as Slava, was a Soviet and Russian cellist and conductor. He was married to the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. He is widely considered to have been the greatest cellist of the second half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest of...

, who suffered considerably for his support of Solzhenitsyn and was eventually forced into exile himself.

In the West

On 12 February 1974, Solzhenitsyn was arrested and deported the next day from the USSR to Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

, West Germany and stripped of his Soviet citizenship. The KGB had found the manuscript for the first part of The Gulag Archipelago and, less than a week later, Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko is a Soviet and Russian poet. He is also a novelist, essayist, dramatist, screenwriter, actor, editor, and a director of several films.-Early life:...

 suffered reprisals for his support of Solzhenitsyn. U.S. military attache William Odom managed to smuggle out a large portion of Solzhenitsyn's archive, including the author's membership card for the Writers' Union and Second World War military citations; Solzhenitsyn subsequently paid tribute to Odom's role in his memoir "Invisible Allies" (1995).

In Germany, Solzhenitsyn lived in Heinrich Böll
Heinrich Böll
Heinrich Theodor Böll was one of Germany's foremost post-World War II writers. Böll was awarded the Georg Büchner Prize in 1967 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972.- Biography :...

's house in Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

. He then moved to Zurich
Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

, Switzerland before Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

 invited him to stay in the United States to "facilitate your work, and to accommodate you and your family." He stayed on the 11th floor of the Hoover Tower
Hoover Tower
Hoover Tower is a structure on the campus of Stanford University in Stanford, California. The tower is part of the Hoover Institution, a research center founded by then-future U.S. president Herbert Hoover. Hoover Tower, inspired by the cathedral tower at Salamanca, was finished in 1941, the year...

, part of the Hoover Institution
Hoover Institution
The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace is a public policy think tank and library founded in 1919 by then future U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, an early alumnus of Stanford....

, before moving to Cavendish
Cavendish, Vermont
Cavendish is a town in Windsor County, Vermont, United States. The town was named after William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire. The population was 1,470 at the 2000 census...

, Vermont in 1976. He was given an honorary Literary Degree from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in 1978 and on Thursday, 8 June 1978 he gave his Commencement Address condemning, among other things, materialism in modern western culture.

Over the next 17 years, Solzhenitsyn worked on his cyclical history of the Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

, The Red Wheel
The Red Wheel
The Red Wheel is a cycle of novels by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, retelling and exploring the passing of Imperial Russia and the birth-pangs of the Soviet Union...

. By 1992, four "knots" (parts) had been completed and he had also written several shorter works.

Despite spending two decades in the United States, Solzhenitsyn did not become fluent in spoken English. He had, however, been reading English-language literature since his teens, encouraged by his mother. More importantly, he resented the idea of becoming a media star and of tempering his ideas or ways of talking in order to suit television. Solzhenitsyn's warnings about the dangers of Communist aggression and the weakening of the moral fiber of the West were generally well received in Western conservative circles (for example, before being denied the opportunity by then-president Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

, Ford administration staffers Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Henry Rumsfeld is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to...

 advocated on Solzhenitsyn's behalf to speak directly to the president about the Soviet threat), alongside the tougher foreign policy pursued by U.S. President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

. At the same time, liberals and secularists
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 became increasingly critical of what they perceived as his reactionary
Reactionary
The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

 preference for Russian nationalism
Russian nationalism
Russian nationalism is a term referring to a Russian form of nationalism. Russian nationalism has a long history dating from the days of Muscovy to Russian Empire, and continued in some form in the Soviet Union. It is closely related to Pan-Slavism...

 and the Russian Orthodox
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 religion. Solzhenitsyn also harshly criticised what he saw as the ugliness and spiritual vapidity of the dominant pop culture of the modern West, including television and much of popular music: "...the human soul longs for things higher, warmer, and purer than those offered by today's mass living habits ... by TV stupor and by intolerable music". Despite his criticism of the "weakness" of the West, Solzhenitsyn always made clear that he admired the political liberty which was one of the enduring strengths of western democratic societies. In a major speech delivered to the International Academy of Philosophy in Liechtenstein on 14 September 1993, Solzhenitsyn implored the West not to "lose sight of its own values, its historically unique stability of civic life under the rule of law—a hard-won stability which grants independence and space to every private citizen."

In a series of writings, speeches, and interviews after his return to his native Russia in 1994, Solzhenitsyn spoke about his admiration for the local self-government he had witnessed first hand in Switzerland and New England during his western exile. He "praised 'the sensible and sure process of grassroots democracy
Grassroots democracy
Grassroots democracy is a tendency towards designing political processes where as much decision-making authority as practical is shifted to the organization's lowest geographic level of organization: principle of subsidiarity....

, in which the local population solves most of its problems on its own, not waiting for the decisions of higher authorities.'"

Return to Russia

In 1990, his Soviet citizenship was restored, and, in 1994, he returned to Russia with his wife, Natalia, who had become a United States citizen. Their sons stayed behind in the United States (later, his oldest son Yermolai returned to Russia to work for the Moscow office of a leading management consultancy firm). From then until his death, he lived with his wife in a dacha
Dacha
Dacha is a Russian word for seasonal or year-round second homes often located in the exurbs of Soviet and post-Soviet cities. Cottages or shacks serving as family's main or only home are not considered dachas, although many purpose-built dachas are recently being converted for year-round residence...

 in Troitse-Lykovo (Троице-Лыково) in west Moscow between the dachas once occupied by Soviet leaders Mikhail Suslov
Mikhail Suslov
Mikhail Andreyevich Suslov was a Soviet statesman during the Cold War. He served as Second Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1965, and as unofficial Chief Ideologue of the Party until his death in 1982. Suslov was responsible for party democracy and the separation of power...

 and Konstantin Chernenko
Konstantin Chernenko
Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko was a Soviet politician and the fifth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He led the Soviet Union from 13 February 1984 until his death thirteen months later, on 10 March 1985...

. A staunch believer in traditional Russian culture, Solzhenitsyn expressed his disillusionment with post-Soviet Russia and called for a restoration of the Russian monarchy
Line of succession to the Russian Throne
The Monarchy of Russia was abolished in 1917 following the February Revolution, which forced Emperor Nicholas II to abdicate. The issue of who is the current Pretender is open to debate.-Line of succession in March 1917:...

. After returning to Russia in 1994, Solzhenitsyn published eight two-part short stories, a series of contemplative "miniatures" or prose poems, a literary memoir on his years in the West (The Grain Between the Millstones) among many other writings.

All of Solzhenitsyn's sons became U.S. citizens. One, Ignat
Ignat Solzhenitsyn
Ignat Aleksandrovich Solzhenitsyn is a Russian-American conductor and pianist who is the conductor laureate of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and the principal guest conductor of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra.-Career:...

, has achieved acclaim as a pianist and conductor in the United States.

Death

Solzhenitsyn died of heart failure near Moscow on 3 August 2008, at the age of 89. A burial service was held at Donskoy Monastery
Donskoy Monastery
Donskoy Monastery is a major monastery in Moscow, founded in 1591 in commemoration of Moscow's deliverance from an imminent threat of Khan Kazy-Girey’s invasion...

, Moscow, on Wednesday, 6 August 2008. He was buried on the same date at the place chosen by him in Donskoy necropolis. Russian and world leaders paid tribute to Solzhenitsyn following his death.

Legacy

The most complete 30-volume edition of Solzhenitsyn's collected works is soon to be published in Russia. The presentation of its first three volumes, already in print, recently took place in Moscow. Unhappy with the economic and social malaise of the Yeltsin era
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

, Solzhenitsyn expressed his admiration for President Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

's attempts to restore a sense of national pride in Russia. Putin signed a decree conferring on Solzhenitsyn the State Prize of the Russian Federation
State Prize of the Russian Federation
State Prize of the Russian Federation is a state honorary prize established in 1992 as the substitute for the USSR State Prize. In 2004 the rules for selection of laureates and the status of the award was significantly changed making them closer to such awards as Nobel Prize or the Soviet Lenin...

 for his humanitarian work and personally visited the writer at his home on 12 June 2007 to present him with the award. Like his father, Yermolai Solzhenitsyn has translated some of his father's works. Stephan Solzhenitsyn lives and works in Moscow. Ignat Solzhenitsyn
Ignat Solzhenitsyn
Ignat Aleksandrovich Solzhenitsyn is a Russian-American conductor and pianist who is the conductor laureate of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and the principal guest conductor of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra.-Career:...

 is the music director of The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

KGB operations against Solzhenitsyn

On 19 September 1974, Yuri Andropov
Yuri Andropov
Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov was a Soviet politician and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 12 November 1982 until his death fifteen months later.-Early life:...

 approved a large-scale operation to discredit Solzhenitsyn and his family and cut his communications with Soviet dissidents
Soviet dissidents
Soviet dissidents were citizens of the Soviet Union who disagreed with the policies and actions of their government and actively protested against these actions through either violent or non-violent means...

. The plan was jointly approved by Vladimir Kryuchkov
Vladimir Kryuchkov
Vladimir Alexandrovich Kryuchkov was a former Soviet politician and Communist Party member, having been in the organization from 1944 until he was dismissed in 1991...

, Philipp Bobkov
Philipp Bobkov
Philipp Bobkov is a former director of KGB political police department , which was responsible for suppression of internal dissent in the former Soviet Union...

, and Grigorenko (heads of First, Second and Fifth KGB Directorates). The residencies in Geneva, London, Paris, Rome and other European cities participated in the operation. Among other active measures, at least three StB
STB
STB is an acronym that can mean:* Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureus – Bachelor of Sacred Theology* Set-top box – a television device that converts signals to viewable images* Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP -- a law firm...

 agents became translators and secretaries of Solzhenitsyn (one of them translated the poem Prussian Nights
Prussian Nights
Prussian Nights is a long poem by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a captain in the Soviet Red Army during the Second World War. Prussian Nights describes the Red Army's march across East Prussia, and focuses on the traumatic acts of rape and murder that Solzhenitsyn witnessed as a participant in that...

), keeping KGB informed regarding all contacts by Solzhenitsyn.

KGB sponsored a series of hostile books about Solzhenitsyn, most notably a "memoir published under the name of his first wife, Natalia Reshetovskaya, but probably mostly composed by Service", according to historian Christopher Andrew. Andropov also gave an order to create "an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion between PAUK and the people around him" by feeding him rumors that everyone in his surrounding was a KGB agent and deceiving him in all possible ways. Among other things, the writer constantly received envelopes with photographs of car accidents, brain surgery and other frightening illustrations. After the KGB harassment in Zurich, Solzhenitsyn settled in Cavendish
Cavendish, Vermont
Cavendish is a town in Windsor County, Vermont, United States. The town was named after William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire. The population was 1,470 at the 2000 census...

, Vermont, reduced communications with others and surrounded his property with a barbed wire
Barbed wire
Barbed wire, also known as barb wire , is a type of fencing wire constructed with sharp edges or points arranged at intervals along the strand. It is used to construct inexpensive fences and is used atop walls surrounding secured property...

 fence. His influence and moral authority for the West diminished as he became increasingly isolated and critical of Western individualism. KGB and CPSU
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the only legal, ruling political party in the Soviet Union and one of the largest communist organizations in the world...

 experts finally concluded that he alienated American listeners by his "reactionary views and intransigent criticism of the US way of life", so no further active measures
Active measures
Active Measures were a form of political warfare conducted by the Soviet security services to influence the course of world events, "in addition to collecting intelligence and producing politically correct assessment of it". Active measures ranged "from media manipulations to special actions...

 would be required.

Accusations of collaboration with NKVD

In his book The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago is a book by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn based on the Soviet forced labor and concentration camp system. The three-volume book is a narrative relying on eyewitness testimony and primary research material, as well as the author's own experiences as a prisoner in a gulag labor camp...

 Solzhenitsyn states that he was recruited to report to the NKVD on fellow inmates and was given a code-name Vetrov, but due to his transfer to another camp he was able to elude this duty and never produced a single report.

In 1976, after Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 a report signed by Vetrov surfaced. After a copy of the report was obtained by Solzhenitsyn he published it together with a refutation in the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

 (published 24 May 1976). In 1978 the same report was published by journalist Frank Arnau
Frank Arnau
Frank Arnau was the pseudonym of a German crime fiction writer, born as Heinrich Schmitt.- Biography :Arnau was born in Vienna, the son of a hotel manager.He began his literary career as a newspaper journalist...

 in a socialist Western German
Western Germany
The geographic term Western Germany is used to describe a region in the west of Germany. The exact area defined by the term is not constant, but it usually includes, but does not have the borders of, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse...

 magazine Neue Politik. However, according to Solzhenitsyn the report is a fabrication by the KGB
KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

. He claimed that the report is dated 20 January 1952 while all Ukrainians were transferred to a separate camp on 6 January and they had no relation to the uprising in Solzhenitsyn's camp on 22 January. He also claimed that the only people who might in 1976 have access to a "secret KGB archive" were KGB agents themselves. Solzhenitsyn also requested Arnau to put the alleged document to a graphology
Graphology
Graphology is the pseudoscientific study and analysis of handwriting, especially in relation to human psychology. In the medical field, it can be used to refer to the study of handwriting as an aid in diagnosis and tracking of diseases of the brain and nervous system...

 test but Arnau refused.

In 1990 the report was reproduced in Soviet Voyenno-Istoricheskiy Zhurnal among the memoirs of L.A. Samutin, a former ROA
ROA
ROA can refer to:*Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, in the United Kingdom*Removable Orthodontic Appliance, a type of tooth-straightening device* The IATA code for Roanoke Regional Airport in Roanoke, Virginia, USA.*Return On Assets, a financial metric...

 soldier and GULAG inmate who was an erstwhile supporter of Solzhenitsyn, but later became his critic. According to Solzhenitzyn, publication of the Samutin memoirs was canceled at the request of Samutin's widow, who stated that the memoirs were in fact dictated by the KGB.

Views on atheism, history, and politics

Regarding atheism, Solzhenitsyn declared:

On Russia and the Jews

Solzhenitsyn also published a two-volume work on the history of Russian-Jewish relations (Two Hundred Years Together 2001, 2002). This book stirred controversy and caused Solzhenitsyn to be widely accused of anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

.

The book became a best-seller in Russia. Solzhenitsyn begins this work with a plea for "patient mutual comprehension" on the part of Russians and Russian Jews. The author writes that the book was conceived in the hope of promoting "mutually agreeable and fruitful pathways for the future development of Russian-Jewish relations".

There is sharp division on the allegation of anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

. From Solzhenitsyn's own essay "Repentance and Self-Limitation in the Life of Nations", he calls for Russians and Jews alike to take moral responsibility for the "renegades" from both communities who enthusiastically supported a Marxist dictatorship after the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

. At the end of chapter 15, he writes that Jews must answer for the "revolutionary cutthroats" in their ranks just as Russian Gentiles must repent "for the pogrom
Pogrom
A pogrom is a form of violent riot, a mob attack directed against a minority group, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes and properties, businesses, and religious centres...

s, for those merciless arsonist peasants, for...crazed revolutionary soldiers." It is not, he adds, a matter of answering "before other peoples, but to oneself, to one's consciousness, and before God." Writing of Solzhenitsyn's novel, August 1914 in the New York Times on 13 November 1985, the American historian Richard Pipes
Richard Pipes
Richard Edgar Pipes is an American academic who specializes in Russian history, particularly with respect to the Soviet Union...

 commented: "Every culture has its own brand of anti-Semitism. In Solzhenitsyn's case, it's not racial. It has nothing to do with blood. He's certainly not a racist; the question is fundamentally religious and cultural. He bears some resemblance to Dostoevsky, who was a fervent Christian and patriot and a rabid anti-Semite. Solzhenitsyn is unquestionably in the grip of the Russian extreme right's view of the Revolution, which is that it was the doing of the Jews".

According to D. M. Thomas, Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel
Sir Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel KBE; born September 30, 1928) is a Hungarian-born Jewish-American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor. He is the author of 57 books, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz, Buna, and...

 said Solzhenitsyn is not an anti-Semite. "he is too intelligent, too honest, too courageous, too great a writer." He says he wishes Solzhenitsyn were more sensitive to Jewish suffering, but believes the insensitivity is unconscious. This statement however predates the publication in 2001 of "200 Years Together" by at least 3 years.

Similarities between Two Hundred years together and an anti-Semitic essay titled "Jews in the USSR and in the Future Russia", attributed to Solzhenitsyn, has led to inference that he stands behind the anti-Semitic passages. Solzhenitsyn himself claims that the essay consists of manuscripts stolen from him, and then manipulated, forty years ago. However, according to the historian Semyon Reznik
Semyon Reznik
Semyon Reznik — Russian writer, journalist, man of letters and historian, noted in particular for his study of the blood libel and the resurgence of Neonazism in Russia...

, textological analyses have proven Solzhenitsyn's authorship.

In 1984 Solzhenitsyn was interviewed by Nikolay Kazantsev, a monarchist Russo-Argentine journalist, for Nasha Strana, a Russia-language newspaper based in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

. In the interview he said: "We (Russia) are walking a narrow isthmus between Communists and the World Jewry. Neither is acceptable for us... And I mean this not in the racial sense, but in the sense of the Jewry as a certain world view. The Jewry is embodied in "Fevralism" (i.e. democracy). Neither side is acceptable to us in the case the War breaks out." He also described the United States as a "province of Israel".

Russian dissident writer Vladimir Voynovich, interviewed for Radio Liberty on the first anniversary of Solzhenitsyn' death, has said that Solzhenitshyn harbored anti-Semitic sentiments all his life, as attested by the 1964 manuscript he later developed into "200 Years Together". Voynovich further alleged that Solzhenitsyn deliberately concealed this anti-Semitism, because he knew this would have prevented him from receiving the Nobel Prize.

On new Russian "democracy"

In some of his later political writings, such as Rebuilding Russia (1990) and Russia in Collapse (1998), Solzhenitsyn criticized the oligarchic excesses of the new Russian 'democracy,' while opposing any nostalgia for Soviet Communism. He defended moderate and self-critical patriotism (as opposed to radical nationalism
Radical nationalism in Russia
Radical nationalism in Russia refers to some far-right and some far-left extremist nationalist movements and organizations. Of note, the term "nationalist" in Russia often refers to radical nationalism. However, it is often mixed up with "fascism" in Russia. While this terminology does not exactly...

), argued for the indispensability of local self-government to a free Russia, and expressed concerns for the fate of the 25 million ethnic Russians in the "near abroad
Near abroad
In political language of Russia and some other post-Soviet states, the near abroad refers to the newly independent republics which emerged after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and sometimes other nearby countries such as Finland and Mongolia....

" of the former Soviet Union. He sought to protect the national character of the Russian Orthodox church and fought against the admission of Catholic priests and Protestant pastors to Russia from other countries. For a brief period, he had his own TV show, where he freely expressed his views. The show was cancelled because of low ratings, but Solzhenitsyn continued to maintain a relatively high profile in the media.

The West

Delivering the commencement address at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in 1978, he called the United States spiritually weak and mired in vulgar materialism
Materialism
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

. Americans, he said, speaking in Russian through a translator, suffered from a "decline in courage" and a "lack of manliness." Few were willing to die for their ideals, he said. He condemned both the United States government and American society for its "hasty" capitulation in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. He criticized the country's music as intolerable and attacked its unfettered press
Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials...

, accusing it of violations of privacy. He said that the West erred in measuring other civilizations by its own model. While faulting Soviet society for denying fair legal treatment of people, he also faulted the West for being too legalistic: "A society which is based on the letter of the law and never reaches any higher is taking very scarce advantage of the high level of human possibilities."

Shortly after Solzhenitsyn's death, Richard Pipes
Richard Pipes
Richard Edgar Pipes is an American academic who specializes in Russian history, particularly with respect to the Soviet Union...

, a history professor at Harvard, wrote of him: "Solzhenitsyn blamed the evils of Soviet communism on the West. He rightly stressed the European origins of Marxism, but he never asked himself why Marxism in other European countries led not to the gulag but to the welfare state. He reacted with white fury to any suggestion that the roots of Leninism
Leninism
In Marxist philosophy, Leninism is the body of political theory for the democratic organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party, and the achievement of a direct-democracy dictatorship of the proletariat, as political prelude to the establishment of socialism...

 and Stalinism
Stalinism
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

 could be found in Russia's past. His knowledge of Russian history was very superficial and laced with a romantic sentimentalism. While accusing the West of imperialism, he seemed quite unaware of the extraordinary expansion of his own country into regions inhabited by non-Russians. He also denied that Imperial Russia practiced censorship or condemned political prisoners to hard labor, which, of course, was absurd.".

Russian culture

In his 1978 Harvard address, Solzhenitsyn argued over Russian culture, that the West erred in "denying its autonomous character and therefore never understood it "

Communism, Russia and nationalism

Solzhenitsyn emphasized the significantly more oppressive character of the Soviet totalitarian regime, in comparison to the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 of the House of Romanov. He asserted that Imperial Russia did not practice any real censorship in the style of the Soviet Glavlit, that political prisoners typically were not always forced into labor camps, and that the number of political prisoners and exiles was only one ten-thousandth of those in the Soviet Union. He noted that the Tsar's secret police, or Okhrana, was only present in the three largest cities, and not at all in the Imperial Russian Army
Imperial Russian Army
The Imperial Russian Army was the land armed force of the Russian Empire, active from around 1721 to the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the early 1850s, the Russian army consisted of around 938,731 regular soldiers and 245,850 irregulars . Until the time of military reform of Dmitry Milyutin in...

.

In a speech commemorating the Vendée Uprising, Solzhenitsyn compared Lenin's Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

s with Jacobins
Jacobin Club
The Jacobin Club was the most famous and influential political club in the development of the French Revolution, so-named because of the Dominican convent where they met, located in the Rue St. Jacques , Paris. The club originated as the Club Benthorn, formed at Versailles from a group of Breton...

 of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. However, he commented that, while the French Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
The Reign of Terror , also known simply as The Terror , was a period of violence that occurred after the onset of the French Revolution, incited by conflict between rival political factions, the Girondins and the Jacobins, and marked by mass executions of "enemies of...

 ended with the execution of Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre is one of the best-known and most influential figures of the French Revolution. He largely dominated the Committee of Public Safety and was instrumental in the period of the Revolution commonly known as the Reign of Terror, which ended with his...

, its Soviet equivalent raged unabated from 1917 until the Khrushchev thaw
Khrushchev Thaw
The Khrushchev Thaw refers to the period from the mid 1950s to the early 1960s, when repression and censorship in the Soviet Union were partially reversed and millions of Soviet political prisoners were released from Gulag labor camps, due to Nikita Khrushchev's policies of de-Stalinization and...

 in the 1950s.

According to Solzhenitsyn, Russians were not the ruling nation in the Soviet Union. He believed that all ethnic cultures have been oppressed in favor of an atheistic Marxism. Russian culture was even more repressed than any other culture in the Soviet Union, since the regime was more afraid of ethnic uprisings among Russian Christians than among any other ethnicity. Therefore, Solzhenitsyn argued, Russian nationalism
Russian nationalism
Russian nationalism is a term referring to a Russian form of nationalism. Russian nationalism has a long history dating from the days of Muscovy to Russian Empire, and continued in some form in the Soviet Union. It is closely related to Pan-Slavism...

 and the Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 should not be regarded as a threat by the West but rather as allies.

Solzhenitsyn said that for every country, great power status deforms and harms the national character and that he has never wished great power status for Russia. He rejected the view that the USA and Russia are natural rivals, saying that before the [Russian] revolution, they were natural allies and that during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, Russia supported Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 and the North [in contrast to Britain and France, which supported the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

], and then they were allies in the First World War. But beginning with Communism, Russia ceased to exist and the confrontation was not at all with Russia but with the Communist Soviet Union.

World War II

Solzhenitsyn criticized the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 for not opening a new front against Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 in the west earlier in World War II. This resulted in Soviet domination and oppression of the nations of Eastern Europe. Solzhenitsyn claimed the Western democracies apparently cared little about how many died in the East, as long as they could end the war quickly and painlessly for themselves in the West. While stationed in East Prussia
East Prussia
East Prussia is the main part of the region of Prussia along the southeastern Baltic Coast from the 13th century to the end of World War II in May 1945. From 1772–1829 and 1878–1945, the Province of East Prussia was part of the German state of Prussia. The capital city was Königsberg.East Prussia...

 as an artillery officer, Solzhenitsyn witnessed war crimes against the civilian German population by Soviet "liberators" as the elderly were robbed of their meager possessions and women were gang-raped to death
Mass rape of German women by Soviet Red Army
As Allied troops entered and occupied German territory during the later stages of World War II, mass rapes took place, both in connection to combat operations and during the subsequent occupation that was to last many years...

. He wrote a poem entitled "Prussian Nights
Prussian Nights
Prussian Nights is a long poem by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a captain in the Soviet Red Army during the Second World War. Prussian Nights describes the Red Army's march across East Prussia, and focuses on the traumatic acts of rape and murder that Solzhenitsyn witnessed as a participant in that...

" about these incidents. In it, the first-person narrator seems to approve of the troops' crimes as revenge for German atrocities, expressing his desire to take part in the plunder himself. The poem describes the rape of a Polish
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

 woman whom the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 soldiers mistakenly thought to be a German.

Stalinism

In his The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago is a book by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn based on the Soviet forced labor and concentration camp system. The three-volume book is a narrative relying on eyewitness testimony and primary research material, as well as the author's own experiences as a prisoner in a gulag labor camp...

 Solzhenitsyn rejected the view that it was Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 who created the Soviet totalitarian state. He argued that it was Lenin who started the mass executions, created a planned economy
Planned economy
A planned economy is an economic system in which decisions regarding production and investment are embodied in a plan formulated by a central authority, usually by a government agency...

, founded the Cheka
Cheka
Cheka was the first of a succession of Soviet state security organizations. It was created by a decree issued on December 20, 1917, by Vladimir Lenin and subsequently led by aristocrat-turned-communist Felix Dzerzhinsky...

 which would later be turned into the KGB
KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

, and started the system of labor camps later known as Gulag
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

.

Mikhail Sholokhov

Solzhenitsyn was the most prominent of the Nobel Laureate Mikhail Sholokhov's many detractors. He alleged that the work which made Sholokhov's international reputation, And Quiet Flows the Don
And Quiet Flows the Don
And Quiet Flows the Don or Quietly Flows the Don is the first part of the great Don epic Tikhiy Don , written by Michail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov. It originally appeared in serialized form between 1928 and 1940...

was written by Fyodor Kryukov
Fyodor Kryukov
Fyodor Dmitrievich Kryukov February 1870 — 4 March 1920) was a Cossack writer and soldier in the White Army, died in 1920 of Typhoid fever. Various literary critics, most notably Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Roy Medvedev, claimed that Mikhail Sholokov plagiarised his work in order to write major...

, a Cossack and Anti-Bolshevik
Anti-communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.-Objections to communist theory:...

, who died in 1920, possibly in retaliation for Sholokhov scathing opinion re
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Solzhenitsyn claimed that Sholokhov found the manuscript and published it under his own name. These rumors first appeared in the late 1920s, but an investigation upheld Sholokhov's authorship of And Quiet Flows the Don and the allegations were denounced as malicious slander in Pravda.

A 1984 monograph by Geir Kjetsaa
Geir Kjetsaa
Geir Kjetsaa was a Norwegian professor in Russian literary history at the University of Oslo, translator of Russian literature, and author of several biographies of classical Russian writers....

 and others demonstrated through statistical analyses that Sholokhov was indeed the likely author of
Don. And in 1987, several thousand pages of notes and drafts of the work were discovered and authenticated.

During the second world war, Sholokhov's archive was destroyed in a bomb raid, and only the fourth volume survived. Sholokhov had his friend Vassily Kudashov, who was killed in the war, look after it. Following Kudashov's death, his widow took possession of the manuscript, but she never disclosed the fact of owning it. The manuscript was finally found by the Institute of World Literature of Russia's Academy of Sciences in 1999 with assistance from the Russian Government. An analysis of the novel has unambiguously proved Sholokhov's authorship. The writing paper dates back to the 1920s: 605 pages are in Sholokhov's own hand, and 285 are transcribed by his wife Maria and sisters.

The Sino-Soviet Conflict

In 1973, near the height of the Sino-Soviet conflict
Sino-Soviet split
In political science, the term Sino–Soviet split denotes the worsening of political and ideologic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the Cold War...

, Solzhenitsyn sent a Letter to the Soviet Leaders to a limited number of upper echelon Soviet officials. This work, which was published for the general public in the Western world a year after it was sent to its intended audience, beseeched the Soviet Union's authorities to

Vietnam war

Once in America, Solzhenitsyn urged the United States to reconsider its attitudes to the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 (which had ended in April 1975). In his commencement address at Harvard University in 1978 (A World Split Apart), Solzhenitsyn alleged that many in the U.S. did not understand the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. He rhetorically asks if the American Anti-War Movement ever realized the effects their actions had on Vietnam: "But members of the U.S. antiwar movement wound up being involved in the betrayal of Far Eastern nations, in a genocide and in the suffering today imposed on 30 million people there. Do those convinced pacifists hear the moans coming from there?"

During his time in the United States, Solzhenitsyn made several controversial public statements: notably, he accused Pentagon Papers
Pentagon Papers
The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, is a United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967...

 leaker Daniel Ellsberg
Daniel Ellsberg
Daniel Ellsberg, PhD, is a former United States military analyst who, while employed by the RAND Corporation, precipitated a national political controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of U.S. government decision-making in relation to the Vietnam War,...

 of treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

.

Kosovo War

Solzhenitsyn strongly condemned the bombing of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

, saying "there is no difference whatsoever between NATO and Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

."

The Holodomor

Solzhenitsyn has stated that the ongoing Ukrainian effort to have the 1930s famine, the Holodomor
Holodomor
The Holodomor was a man-made famine in the Ukrainian SSR between 1932 and 1933. During the famine, which is also known as the "terror-famine in Ukraine" and "famine-genocide in Ukraine", millions of Ukrainians died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of...

, recognized as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people
Holodomor genocide question
The Holodomor genocide question is the attempts to determine whether the Holodomor, the disastrous famine in 1933 that claimed millions of lives in Ukraine that is recognized as a crime against humanity by the European Parliament, was an ethnic genocide, a natural catastrophe or democide.Currently,...

 is in fact historical revisionism
Historical revisionism
In historiography, historical revisionism is the reinterpretation of orthodox views on evidence, motivations, and decision-making processes surrounding a historical event...

. According to Solzhenitsyn, the famine was caused by the nature of the Communist regime
Criticisms of Communist party rule
Criticisms of communist party rule have been known since the first days of the first communist government in Soviet Russia, established after the October Revolution of 1917.-Background:...

, under which all peoples suffered. As such it was not an assault by the Russian people against the Ukrainian people, and the wish to represent it as such is only recent and politically motivated.

Solzhenitsyn's views on this matter are in line with those of several historians of the period (such as Dmitri Volkogonov
Dmitri Volkogonov
Dmitri Antonovich Volkogonov was a Russian historian and officer.-Biography:...

 and Aleksandr Bushkov
Aleksandr Bushkov
Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Bushkov is a best-selling Russian author who has written books in the genres of science fiction, crime fiction, popular history and non-fiction. In his belletristic, published in literary and popular journals, Bushkov has been critical of conventional academic approaches...

) as well as the official stance of the Russian Government. This view suggests that policies of collectivization and mass seizure of property that lead to the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s were a result of the political (communist) and economic (favoring rapid industrial growth over consumption) policies of the Soviet Union, and not racial hatred against the Ukrainians.

Published works and speeches

  • The Solzhenitsyn Reader: New and Essential Writings, 1947–2005, edited by Edward E. Ericson, Jr. and Daniel J. Mahoney, ISI Books (2009)
  • A Storm in the Mountains
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is a novel written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, first published in November 1962 in the Soviet literary magazine Novy Mir . The story is set in a Soviet labor camp in the 1950s, and describes a single day of an ordinary prisoner, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov...

    (1962; novella)
  • An Incident at Krechetovka Station
    An Incident at Krechetovka Station
    An Incident at Krechetovka Station is a novella written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and published in the Russian magazine Novy Mir in 1963. It is the only work of prose written by the author that is set in World War II. In later editions of the novella, the author changed the name of the station to...

    (1963; novella)
  • Matryona's Place
    Matryona's Place
    Matryona's Place, , sometimes translated as Matryona's Home , is a novella written in 1959 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. It is Solzhenitsyn's most read short story, and was first published in Novy Mir in 1963...

    (1963; novella)
  • For the Good of the Cause (1964; novella)
  • The First Circle
    The First Circle
    In the First Circle is a novel by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn released in 1968. A fuller version of the book was published in English in 2009....

    (1968; novel). Translated into English by Henry Carlisle
    Henry Carlisle
    Henry Coffin Carlisle was a translator, novelist, and anti-censorship activist.Carlisle, with his wife Olga Andreyeva Carlisle, was notable for translating Alexander Solzhenitsyn's work into English...

     and Olga Carlisle.
  • Cancer Ward (1968; novel)
  • The Love-Girl and the Innocent
    The Love-Girl and the Innocent
    The Love-Girl and the Innocent is a play in four acts by Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. It is set over the course of about one week in 1945 in a Joseph Stalin-era Soviet prison camp...

    (1969; play), a.k.a. The Prisoner and the Camp Hooker or The Tenderfoot and the Tart.
  • Nobel Prize delivered speech (1970)The speech was delivered to the Swedish Academy
    Swedish Academy
    The Swedish Academy , founded in 1786 by King Gustav III, is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden.-History:The Swedish Academy was founded in 1786 by King Gustav III. Modelled after the Académie française, it has 18 members. The motto of the Academy is "Talent and Taste"...

     in writing and not actually given as a lecture.
  • August 1914 (1971). The beginning of a history of the birth of the USSR in an historical novel. The novel centers on the disastrous loss in the Battle of Tannenberg
    Battle of Tannenberg (1914)
    The Battle of Tannenberg was an engagement between the Russian Empire and the German Empire in the first days of World War I. It was fought by the Russian First and Second Armies against the German Eighth Army between 23 August and 30 August 1914. The battle resulted in the almost complete...

     in August 1914, and the ineptitude of the military leadership. Other works, similarly titled, follow the story: see The Red Wheel
    The Red Wheel
    The Red Wheel is a cycle of novels by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, retelling and exploring the passing of Imperial Russia and the birth-pangs of the Soviet Union...

     (overall title).
  • The Gulag Archipelago
    The Gulag Archipelago
    The Gulag Archipelago is a book by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn based on the Soviet forced labor and concentration camp system. The three-volume book is a narrative relying on eyewitness testimony and primary research material, as well as the author's own experiences as a prisoner in a gulag labor camp...

    (three volumes) (1973–1978), not a memoir, but a history of the entire process of developing and administering a police state
    Police state
    A police state is one in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic and political life of the population...

     in the Soviet Union. Translated into English by Henry Carlisle
    Henry Carlisle
    Henry Coffin Carlisle was a translator, novelist, and anti-censorship activist.Carlisle, with his wife Olga Andreyeva Carlisle, was notable for translating Alexander Solzhenitsyn's work into English...

     and Olga Carlisle.
  • Prussian Nights
    Prussian Nights
    Prussian Nights is a long poem by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a captain in the Soviet Red Army during the Second World War. Prussian Nights describes the Red Army's march across East Prussia, and focuses on the traumatic acts of rape and murder that Solzhenitsyn witnessed as a participant in that...

    (Finished in 1951, first published in 1974; poetry)
  • Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's speech at the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm, 10 December 1974
  • Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn, A Letter to the Soviet leaders, Collins: Harvill Press (1974), ISBN 0-06-013913-7
  • The Oak and the Calf
    The Oak and the Calf
    The Oak and the Calf, subtitled Sketches of Literary Life in the Soviet Union, is a memoir by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn about his attempts to have his work published in his own country. The book was begun in April 1967 when Solzhenitsyn was 49 years old, but supplements were added by the author in...

    (1975)
  • Lenin in Zürich (1976; separate publication of chapters on Lenin, none of them published before this point, from The Red Wheel
    The Red Wheel
    The Red Wheel is a cycle of novels by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, retelling and exploring the passing of Imperial Russia and the birth-pangs of the Soviet Union...

    . They were later incorporated into the 1984 edition of the expanded August 1914.)
  • Warning to the West (1976; 5 speeches (translated to English), 3 to the Americans in 1975 and 2 to the British in 1976)
  • Harvard Commencement Address (1978) link
  • The Mortal Danger: Misconceptions about Soviet Russia and the Threat to America (1980)
  • Pluralists (1983; political pamphlet)
  • November 1916 (1983; novel in The Red Wheel
    The Red Wheel
    The Red Wheel is a cycle of novels by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, retelling and exploring the passing of Imperial Russia and the birth-pangs of the Soviet Union...

    sequence)
  • Victory Celebration (1983)
  • Prisoners (1983)
  • Godlessness, the First Step to the Gulag. Templeton Prize Address, London, 10 May (1983)
  • August 1914 (1984; novel, much-expanded edition)
  • Rebuilding Russia (1990)
  • March 1917 (1990)
  • April 1917
  • The Russian Question (1995)
  • Russia under Avalanche (Россия в обвале,1998; political pamphlet) (Complete text in Russian:)
  • Two Hundred Years Together
    Two Hundred Years Together
    "Two hundred years together" is a 2-volume historical essay by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.Solzhenitsyn published this two-volume work on the history of Russian-Jewish relations in 2001 and 2002. The book stirred controversy and is viewed by many historians as unreliable in both factual data and...

    (2003) on Russian-Jewish relations since 1772, aroused ambiguous public response.

TV documentaries on Solzhenitsyn

In 1998, Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov
Alexander Sokurov
Alexander Nikolayevich Sokurov is a Russian filmmaker. His most significant works include a semi-documentary, Russian Ark , filmed in a single unedited shot, and Faust , which was honoured with the Golden Lion, the highest prize for the best film at the Venice Film Festival.- Life and work...

 shot TV documentary Besedy s Solzhenitsynym (The Dialogues with Solzhenitsyn
The Dialogues with Solzhenitsyn
The Dialogues with Solzhenitsyn is a Russian television documentary by Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The documentary shot in Solzhenitsyn’s home shows his everyday life and covers his reflections on Russian history and literature....

) of four parts. The documentary shot in Solzhenitsyn’s home shows his everyday life and covers his reflections on Russian history and literature.
On 12 December 2009, the Russian channel Rossiya K showed the French television documentary L'Histoire Secrète de l'Archipel du Goulag made by Jean Crépu and Nicolas Miletitch
Nicolas Miletitch
Nicolas Miletitch was the Editor-in-Chief of the Agence France-Presse from 2006 to June 2009.He joined the AFP in 1977. In 1978-81, he served as a correspondent in Moscow from where he was expelled owing to his connections with dissidents. Later, he was a director of the AFP office in Belgrade ...

 and translated into Russian under the title Taynaya Istoriya “Arkhipelaga GULAG” (Secret History: The Gulag Archipelago). The documentary covers events related to creation and publication of The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago is a book by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn based on the Soviet forced labor and concentration camp system. The three-volume book is a narrative relying on eyewitness testimony and primary research material, as well as the author's own experiences as a prisoner in a gulag labor camp...

.

See also

  • Alexander Dolgun
    Alexander Dolgun
    Alexander Dolgun was a survivor of the Soviet Gulag who wrote about his experiences in 1975 after being allowed to leave the Soviet Union and return to his native United States.- Pre-Gulag years :...

  • Alexander Galich
    Alexander Galich
    Alexander Galich , was a Russian poet, screenwriter, playwright, and singer-songwriter. Galich is a pen name, a sort of acronym of his last name, first name, and patronymic: Ginzburg Alexander Arkadievich. He adopted this name to conceal his Jewish ancestry in the face of antisemitism in the Soviet...

  • Mask of Sorrow
    Mask of Sorrow
    The Mask of Sorrow is a monument perched on a hill above Magadan, Russia, commemorating the many prisoners who suffered and died in the Gulag prison camps in the Kolyma region of the Soviet Union during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. It consists of a large stone statue of a face, with tears coming from...

  • Lydia Chukovskaya
    Lydia Chukovskaya
    Lydia Korneievna Chukovskaya was a Soviet writer and poet. Her deeply personal writings reflect the human cost of Soviet totalitarianism, and she devoted much of her career to defending dissidents such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov...

  • Harry Wu
    Harry Wu
    Harry Wu is an activist for human rights in the People's Republic of China. Now a resident and citizen of the United States, Wu spent 19 years in Chinese labor camps. In 1992, he founded the Laogai Research Foundation. In 1996 the Columbia Human Rights Law Review awarded Wu its second Award for...


Further reading

Biographies
}
}
Reference works
}
}
  • Edward J. Brown, "Solzhenitsyn and the Epic of the Camps," in his Russian Literature Since the Revolution (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University, 1982), pp. 251–291
  • Michael Lydon, "Alexander Solzhenitsyn," in his Real Writing: Word Models of the Modern World (New York: Patrick Press, 2001), pp. 183–251
  • Mahoney, "Solzhenitsyn on Russia's 'Jewish Question,'" Society (November–December 2002): 104–109
  • Rufus W. Mathewson, Jr., "Solzhenitsyn," in his The Positive Hero in Russian Literature (Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press, 1975), pp. 279–340
  • Mary McCarthy, "The Tolstoy Connection," Saturday Review, 16 September 1972, pp. 79–96
  • Modern Fiction Studies, special Solzhenitsyn issue, 23 (Spring 1977)
  • David Remnick, "The Exile Returns," New Yorker (14 February 1994): 64–83
  • Leona Toker, "The Gulag Archipelago" and "The Gulag Fiction of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn," in her Return from the Archipelago: Narrative of Gulag Survivors (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000), pp. 101–121, 188–209
  • Dariusz Tolczyk, "A Sliver in the Throat of Power," in his See No Evil: Literary Cover-Ups and Discoveries of the Soviet Camp Experience (New Haven, Conn. & London: Yale University Press, 1999), pp. 253–310
  • Transactions of the Association of Russian-American Scholars in the U.S.A., 29 (1998)
  • Urmanov, ed., "Odin den' Ivana Denisovicha" A. I. Solzhenitsyna: Khudozhestvennyi mir. Poetika. Kul'turnyi kontekst (Blagoveshchensk: BGPU, 2003)
  • Zvezda, special Solzhenitsyn issue (June 1994)


External links

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