The Russian Question: At the End of the 20th Century

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Harvill, 1995 - History - 135 pages
Few living Russians speak with greater authority on their country's prospects, and few have Solzhenitsyn's genius for provoking a creative debate. Steeped as he is in Russia's history, he here interrogates the past, and assesses the mistakes of the past, in order to suggest lessons for the shaping of Russia at a crucial moment in its history. Although one school of thought among Russian intellectuals proposes an expansion of the nation's borders and a return to hegemony, Solzhenitsyn argues that the nation's future identity and security, indeed its regeneration, lie in an inner development within a Slavic nucleus, which he identifies as Russia, the Ukraine, Belorussia and Kazakhstan. Any foreigner who wishes to know more about the debate within Russia on its identity and meaning in a post-Soviet future will do well to start with this position paper by one of the country's greatest writers and men of vision.

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About the author (1995)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born on December 11, 1918 in Kislovodsk in the northern Caucusus Mountains. He received a degree in physics and math from Rostov University in 1941. He served in the Russian army during World War II but was arrested in 1945 for writing a letter criticizing Stalin. He spent the next decade in prisons and labor camps and, later, exile, before being allowed to return to central Russia, where he worked as a high school science teacher. His first novel, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, was published in 1962. In 1970, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1974, he was arrested for treason and exiled following the publication of The Gulag Archipelago. He moved to Switzerland and later the U. S. where he continued to write fiction and history. When the Soviet Union collapsed, he returned to his homeland. His other works include The First Circle and The Cancer Ward. He died due to a heart ailment on August 3, 2008 at the age of 89.

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