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The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 Abridged: An Experiment in Literary Investigation

Tekijä: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Muut tekijät: Edward E. Ericson (Abridged by)

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

Sarjat: The Gulag Archipelago (Abridged)

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2,427286,228 (4.13)2
Describes individual escapes and attempted escapes from Stalin's camps.
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» Katso myös 2 mainintaa

englanti (23)  portugali (2)  ranska (1)  hollanti (1)  Kaikki kielet (27)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 27) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Hard to believe I read this epic in about a week, but I couldn't put it down. Solzhenitsyn has to rank as the bravest author ever for getting this story to us. He unmasked a brutal regime. Really unmasked it. For the world. I can't imagine any modern author having as great a role to play in the turn of history which led to the fall of the Soviet Regime. ( )
  MylesKesten | Jan 23, 2024 |
Here's what I wrote in 2012 about this read: "Yet again, a hugely worthwhile book by possibly Mary's favorite author. Way tougher read than any former of his works; it's not a novel. But his humanity, and understanding thereof, shines through again." Note that the first quote included in the comments section was seared into my memory upon reading it. How many people would draw such a conclusion? How many would bless their experience and time in such a place as the Soviet Gulag? ( )
  MGADMJK | Nov 18, 2023 |
I'll admit it's taken me a while to get through this. Probably six or seven weeks of inconsistent reading. It's not a difficult read, but it's a dense and demanding book that needs full attention and the right reading mood. Somehow it felt like there was a lot crammed on each page - my reading time felt noticeably slow.

Solzhenitsyn is famous for winning not just the Nobel Prize for Literature for this book, but also for supposedly being a catalyst contributing to the downfall of the Soviet Union as he exposed atrocities of the most horrendous scale which had been kept silent for decades. The original is a vast book (some 1,800 pages), and I must admit I was glad I was reading the abridged version (still chunky enough at close to 500 pages), but still - it's a terrifically enlightening, engaging and horrifying read. I appreciated that in this abridged version at least, each chapter was relatively short so I could attack it in small chunks.

Despite it's sombre subject matter of the Russian gulags, where millions of Russians were sent for 'political crimes' (no one can quite authenticate the numbers on how many people died - somewhere between 1.6 million and 60 million depending on where you take your facts from; Solzhenitsyn believed in the region of 20 million), I was surprised that Solzhenitsyn keeps his tone light and almost playful throughout. He served 8 years in the gulags himself, and it's as if it was all so utterly insane that he could only write of it with almost fun-poking incredulity at the sheer audacity of the Soviet regime barbarism.

There's a nice logic to how he sets out the book, from arrests to interrogation to prison transits to life in the camps, followed by exile. Occasionally Solzhenistyn writes of his own memories, but in most of the book he is giving his voice to the stories of others. Much of it is almost too cruel and insane to take in. He tells of a man arrested whilst having his stomach operated on, lifted out of the operating theatre with his innards hanging out. Of people tortured with no sleep for days on end, or with bright lights shone unceasingly in their eyes. Of ten and twenty-five year sentences handed out for absurd 'political' reasons to keep the jails full and work gangs on the railroads and canals supplied with free labour. Of men sent out to work in the depths of winter in thin, tattered clothes and shoes in snowfall up to their waist for 12 hours before a walk of several miles back to huts which may not have even had a roof on, never mind heating. Of women paraded naked upon arrest so the prison officers could choose who they fancied to 'have'. And if you survived the near starvation, hard labour and horrendous conditions to get to the end of your sentence (which could randomly have more time added on to it at will), then the enforced exile to Kazakhstan or Siberia (if you were lucky, as there at least you might have a chance of picking up some work, whereas if you were released into 'regular' society without banishment you had little hope of being accepted back into society).

It's a book that feels as important now as when first released back in 1985. My knowledge on Russian history is potted, and I felt that reading about where the country has come from during this era of the gulags helped me to understand better current behaviours that we now see taking place on the world stage in the 21st century. Can we verify all of Solzhenitsyn's facts? Of course not, but the passage of time has gradually laid bare the atrocities of the gulags from enough sources for us to take what he tells us as a reasonable truth.

4 stars - a really engaging and eye-opening historical read. ( )
  AlisonY | Jul 13, 2023 |
I cannot add to what has already need written in analysis of this book - the content is very heavy and and yet they author weaves a narrative that frames the complexities so that the book is less about the torture of communism and more about human nature, honesty, and ascension. This is a must read. ( )
  lizcurl | May 7, 2023 |
Hard to read, Hard to digest.
Powerful, Stressful stuff.
I appreciate the point Solzhenitsyn makes over and over, Why didn't anyone speak up?
He wonders why he himself didn't speak up.
Would I have the guts to speak up?
Probably not.... ( )
  davisfamily | Dec 11, 2022 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 27) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Aleksandr Solzhenitsynensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Whitney, Thomas P.Kääntäjäpäätekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Willets, HarryKääntäjäpäätekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Ericson, Edward E.Abridged bymuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu

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Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Teoksen kanoninen nimi
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
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Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
In the period of dictatorship, surrounded on all sides by enemies, we sometimes manifested unnecessary leniency and unnecessary softheartedness. - Krylenko, speech at the Promparty trial
Omistuskirjoitus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
I dedicate this to all those who did not live to tell it.  And may they please forgive me for not having seen it all nor remembered it all, for nt having divined all of it.
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
How do people get to this clandestine Archipelago?
Sitaatit
Viimeiset sanat
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(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
Erotteluhuomautus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Aleksandr Solzhenistyn's The Gulag Archipelago has been published in a number of formats, and is catalogued in a variety of ways. The complete work consists of seven parts, often divided into three volumes as follow: Volume One, consisting of Part I ("The Prison Industry") and Part II ("Perpetual Motion"); Volume Two, consisting of Part III ("The Destructive-Labor Camps") and Part IV ("The Soul and Barbed Wire"); and Volume III, consisting of Part V ("Katorga"), Part VI ("Exile") and Part VII ("Stalin Is No More").

THIS LT WORK IS INTENDED ONLY FOR THE ABRIDGED EDITION.

Please do not combine it with other copies having materially different content (e.g., Parts I-II, Parts III-IV, Parts V-VII, the complete work, an omnibus [such as Parts I-VI], any individual Part, or the abridged version). Thank you.
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Describes individual escapes and attempted escapes from Stalin's camps.

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