Revised, Expanded Edition
Based on exclusive, personal interviews with Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Joseph Pearce's biography of the renowned Russian dissident provides profound insight into a towering literary and political figure.
From his pro-Communist youth to his imprisonment in forced labor camps, from his exile in America to his return to Russia, Solzhenitsyn struggled with the weightiest questions of human existence: When a person has suffered the most terrible physical and emotional torture, what becomes of his spirit? Can science, politics and economics truly provide all of man's needs?
In his acclaimed literary and historical works, Solzhenitsyn exposed the brutality of the Soviet regime. Most famous for his novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and his three-volume expose of the Russian police state, The Gulag Archipelago, he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970.
Solzhenitsyn's Christian faith deeply informed his response to the inhumanity of modern materialism as it took shape in twentieth- century Russia. His critique applies not only to Communism, however, but also to the post-Christian capitalism now dominant in the West. On the spiritual, cultural, and socio-political level, his writings still have much to teach the world.
This book also contains a gallery of rare photographs.
"The publication of this updated version of Joseph Pearce's biography of the great Russian writer is most welcome, indeed. With impressive clarity, Pearce conveys the fullness of a life lived at the service of freedom of the will and service to the truth. Where other critics and biographers have lamented Solzhenitsyn's departure from the modern progressive consensus, Pearce allows Solzhenitsyn to speak for himself. He presents an evocative portrait of a "pessimistic optimist" whose final words are catharsis and hope. The four new chapters in this edition give a good sense of the range of Solzhenitsyn's concerns during the last decade of his life and will correct many misunderstandings." -Daniel J. Mahoney, Author of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Ascent From Ideology
"Pearce has grasped with great insight the spiritual core of Solzhenitsyn's achievement as a writer, and indeed as a prophet to Russia and the world. He writes with warm sympathy for Russia's greatest literary voice in modern times." -David Aikman, Author, Great Souls: Six Who Changed the Century
"Joseph Pearce is best on what matters most about Solzhenitsyn: the centrality of the author's Christian faith. It is no wonder that Solzhenitsyn chose to . . . provide Pearce with fresh information. Newcomers to Solzhenitsyn should start with this biography. They will find here a highly readable rendition of one of the most sensational lives of the twentieth century."-Edward E. Ericson Jr., Author, Solzhenitsyn and the Modern World
Joseph Pearce is the author of numerous literary works including Literary Converts, The Quest for Shakespeare and Shakespeare on Love, and the editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions series. His other books include literary biographies of Oscar Wilde, J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.