Solzhenitsyn .....

Alexander Solzhenitsyn dies at 89

Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who exposed Stalin's prison system in his novels and spent 20 years in exile, has died near Moscow at the age of 89.

The author of The Gulag Archipelago and One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich, who returned to Russia in 1994, died of either a stroke or heart failure.

He was one of the first to talk about the inhumane Stalinist regime and about the people who experienced it but were not broken.
Mikhail Gorbachev

Mrs Solzhenitsyn told Moscow Echo radio her husband lived "a difficult but happy life". (external - login to view)

(Solzhenitsyn's death) "is a heavy loss for the whole of Russia. We are proud that Alexander Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was our countryman and contemporary. We will remember him as a strong, brave person with enormous dignity.


Like millions of citizens, Solzhenitsyn lived through tough times. He was one of the first to talk about the inhumane Stalinist regime and about the people who experienced it but were not broken.
Until the end of his days he fought for Russia not only to move away from its totalitarian past but also to have a worthy future, to become a truly free and democratic country. We owe him a lot.


His intransigence, his ideals and his long, eventful life make Solzhenitsyn a hero from a novel, an heir to Dostoyevsky. He belongs to the pantheon of world history. I pay homage to his memory.

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I read quite a few of his books. As a Russian citizen he wasn't treated any better than my brother, a POW in the Siberian Gulag.
How he described the cattle cars in which Stalin transported all his prisoners... just like my brother experienced and was lucky enough to tell us about after the war's end.
I admired Solzhenitsyn. He opened up the brutal Stalin regime and exposed it to the world at a time when it was still very dangerous to do so. He had courage!
Good post.

For someone a little less lazy than I this morning I'd like to see Solzhenitzyn's diatribes against the West.

I'd always hear about his frustrations on this subject, but never delved into it.
I've always imagined that the psychology of his frustration with the West was fertile ground to explore.

Also many years ago I read this book by Andrei Amalrik, who predicted the Soviets would fall apart in 1984.
He was only wrong by 5 years. (external - login to view)
Thank you, Jim!

Here is an extract from his speech at Harvard University, 1978:


People in the West have acquired considerable skill in using, interpreting and manipulating law, even though laws tend to be too complicated for an average person to understand without the help of an expert...

It is time, in the West, to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.

Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defence against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror.

It is considered to be part of freedom and theoretically counter-balanced by the young people's right not to look or not to accept. Life organised legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil. (external - login to view)
He is very right. I understand what he means. This decadence is all around us, in society as well as in government.

Delve into it, Jim
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