Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Revealing reality behind utopian aspirations

One wonders if by the 40th anniversary of the publication of this work (2013) there might be enough material for an American volume...
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "literary investigation" of the police-state system in the Soviet Union, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956, is published in the original Russian in Paris. The book was the first of the three-volume work. The brutal and uncompromising description of political repression and terror was quickly translated into many languages and was published in the United States just a few months later.

Solzhenitsyn's massive work detailed the machinations of the Soviet police state from the time of the Bolshevik Revolution to 1956. In the preface to the book, however, he warned that reading the work would be "very dangerous" for Russians in 1973. The book was important in that it maintained that police terror had always been essential to the existence of the Soviet state. This deviated from the standard Soviet line that such terror had only come about during the time of Stalin and evaporated upon his death in 1956.
Those who will not learn from history...

1 comment:

KSH said...

Funny. Liz has been reading that very book lately.

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