Volume 1 of the gripping epic masterpiece, Solzhenitsyn's chilling report of his arrest and interrogation, which exposed to the world the vast bureaucracy of secret police that haunted Soviet society
Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn
Brand: HARPER AND ROW
Harper & Row
Harper & Row
Harper & Row
Harper & Row
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
For any who have any nostalgia for the Soviet Union, this book should put it to rest. This book is hard to categorize; it is more than one man's opinion, but less than an objective history. It is, as Solzhenitsyn puts it, "an experiment in literary investigation": a combination memoir and dissertation on the evils of Communism and its inevitable product, the forced labor camp. Some have criticized Solzhenitsyn as an anti-Communist/pro-Western polemicist, but that is not an accurate description. He is a realist, showing not only the faults of Communists, but also those of the West and Western leaders. This should be required reading for European and world history classes. Volume 1 (of 3) describes the arrest and interrogation procedures, as well as life in the Gulag.
I made a large order of books including this one. I have wanted to read it for a long time and chose it as the first book to tackle. Big Mistake! It is riveting history . . . but after the first couple days I can only handle a few pages at a time. It is devastating in its account of brutal inhumanity and Solzhenitsyn's surprising introspection. It is also disturbing that one can see some of these same patterns emerging in various aspects today across the globe.
While none of my comments might suggest a glowing review, I really intend for them to be. If this isn't essential reading for every person interested in either history or in humankind's destiny I don't know what is.
Get it! Read it!
What an eye opener! It describes the dispair and horror of stalin's russia. If you want an insight as to why the USA is so staunchly and fanatically anti-communist, read this book! Stalin and his communists tried to build their workers paradise through slavery. Millions were arrested and sent to labor camps because the commies needed slaves, so they arrested them and condemned them for at least 10 years ('a tenner').
A stunning, very well written, page turner that shows there are things worse than death! They crammed 40 people into cells designed for 2 people. Torture, arbitrary doubling of your sentence (from 10 to 20 years), sadistic guards, all for no crime whatsoever! Makes the West look like heaven on earth.
And Solzhenitsyn keeps it interesting, even humorous. Like when a crowd was applauding Stalin, and everyone was afraid to be the first one to stop applauding because they knew they would be arrested! So the applause went on for 1/2 hour, with nobody...
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