The Gulag Archipelago, 1918–1956, Vol. 2: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, III–IV

By Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Translated by Thomas P. Whitney
Read by Frederick Davidson

27.53 Hours 01/01/1989 unabridged
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This second volume in Solzhenitsyn’s narrative chronicles the appalling inhumanity of the Soviets’ “destructive-labor camps” and the fate of prisoners in them—felling timber, building canals and railroads, and mining gold without equipment or adequate food or clothing, and subject always to the caprices of the camp authorities. Most tragic of all is the life of the women prisoners and the luckless children they bear. Once again, this chronicle of appalling inhumanity is made endurable by the vitality and emotional range of the writing. In one truly remarkable chapter, a parody of an anthropological treatise, Solzhenitsyn achieves new heights of sardonic wit. And in the final section, the music changes and he provides a magnificent coda on the possibilities of redemption and purification through suffering.

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Summary

Summary

Named a Time Magazine Best Nonfiction Book of the Twentieth Century

National Review’s 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Century

This second volume in Solzhenitsyn’s narrative chronicles the appalling inhumanity of the Soviets’ “destructive-labor camps” and the fate of prisoners in them—felling timber, building canals and railroads, and mining gold without equipment or adequate food or clothing, and subject always to the caprices of the camp authorities. Most tragic of all is the life of the women prisoners and the luckless children they bear.

Once again, this chronicle of appalling inhumanity is made endurable by the vitality and emotional range of the writing. In one truly remarkable chapter, a parody of an anthropological treatise, Solzhenitsyn achieves new heights of sardonic wit. And in the final section, the music changes and he provides a magnificent coda on the possibilities of redemption and purification through suffering.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A powerful narrative which combines the prose styles of epic novelist, partisan historian, and outraged moralist, interspersed with Russian proverbs, black humor, prison camp language, and parodies of Soviet bureaucratese.” New York Times Book Review
“What Solzhenitsyn produced was simply more thorough, more monumental, and more detailed than anything that had been produced previously. It could not be ignored or dismissed as a single man's experience. As a result, no one who dealt with the Soviet Union, diplomaticlly of intellectualy, could ignore it.” Slate
“The best nonfiction book of the twentieth century.” Time
“[Solzhenitsyn] has been able to probe the underbelly of totalitarian society and he has limned it perfectly.” Christian Science Monitor

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn (1918–2008) was born in Kislovodsk, Russia. A twice-decorated captain in the Soviet Army, he was stripped of his rank, arrested, and convicted for privately criticizing Stalin in 1945. Exiled from the USSR in 1974, he eventually settled in the United States before returning to his homeland twenty years later after the Soviet system had collapsed. Among his acclaimed works are the novels One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The First Circle. His literary awards include the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Medal of Honor for Literature.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 27.53
Audience: Adult
Language: English