Review: Gulag Archipelago by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn


The Gulag Archipelago This was a good book. It was hard to read. Russian literature is not easy with the names and style. What is significant about this book is the documentation of the atrocities of Communist Russia from first and second-hand accounts. I found an old paperback copy that was 620 pages long. This link is an abridged version. 

Here are some great quotes: 

"I have absorbed into myself my own eleven years there not as something shameful nor as a nightmare to be cursed: I have come almost to love that monstrous world, and now, by a happy turn of events, I have also been entrusted with many recent reports and letters. So perhaps I shall be able to give some account of the bones and flesh of that salamander—which, incidentally, is still alive.” 

This is a fantastic preface that begins describing a people who unearth ancient fish and salamanders frozen in ice and immediately ate them. The subtle connections Alexander makes here are wonderful. 


A people need defeat just as an individual needs suffering and misfortune:
they compel the deepening of the inner life and generate a spiritual upsurge
"Pride grows in the human heart like lard on a pig"

"Whatever casts you down also teaches you a lot"

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