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Monthly Archives: August 2008

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

I was motivated to read books by Solzhenitsyn after reading his biography. This is an absolute classic, very readable, and quite short. I’ve given this to my children to read because it is so easy to get through.

When I was a teenager I read it and thought that it showed the labour camps were not so bad, they seemed happy. The naivety of youth.

Of course, the book was very important in the history of the Soviet Union. It’s publication was authorized by Khrushchev (ie at the top), it was quite shocking to soviet readers and probably contributed to the unease that the other politburo members had which lead to Khrushchev’s fall.