Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, 1918–2008.

Benson1981

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We men of the West had better remember him, for we may never again behold his like. When The Gulag Archipelago was released for publication in 1974, the official Soviet press was reduced to telling its captive readers that the three volumes of horrifying revelations were a panegyric upon Hitler. In France, it was an event which changed history. A whole generation had just grown up thinking Communism was cool because it frightened their parents. Suddenly they saw party spokesmen, confronted with passages from Solzhenitsyn on television, helplessly babbling about “last year’s record Soviet harvest.” He had made the mighty communists contemptible. More than any other moment in the Cold War, this is when wise observers knew the game was up—the Soviet Union was living on borrowed time. If our children do not come to appreciate his importance, the fault will be ours, not Solzhenitsyn’s.

(The Occidental Quarterly, Vol. VIII, No. 1, Spring 2008).

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