One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Recommended by Robert Conquest, and 1 others. See all reviews

Ranked #7 in Communism, Ranked #10 in Prisonsee more rankings.

Solzhenitsyn's first book, this economical, relentless novel is one of the most forceful artistic indictments of political oppression in the Stalin-era Soviet Union. The simply told story of a typical, grueling day of the titular character's life in a labor camp in Siberia, is a modern classic of Russian literature and quickly cemented Solzhenitsyn's international reputation upon publication in 1962. It is painfully apparent that Solzhenitsyn himself spent time in the gulags--he was imprisoned for nearly a decade as punishment for making derogatory statements about Stalin in a letter to a... more

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Robert Conquest Yes let’s do that as I’ve quite a lot to say about old Solzh. It was a critical book – an entirely objective account of a victim in a labour camp. Just one day in an ordinary labour camp. Not exaggerated, not even a particularly nasty day. The most extraordinary part is how is got printed. It ran contrary to everyone in the Communist Party in Russia, but the Novy Mir editor Tvardovsky snuck a copy in to Khrushchev and said, ‘This is awfully good, you ought to publish it’. And he did. It was an extraordinary stroke of luck. And once it was printed, as Galina put it, ‘The Soviet government had... (Source)

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