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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: Between Two Millstones: Book I: Sketches of Exile, 1974–1978

Peter Constantine translation. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2018. 451 pp. $35.00. ISBN 978-0268105013
  • Will Morrisey
Book Review

We know Solzhenitsyn the anti-Soviet dissident, Solzhenitsyn the chronicler of Leninist-Stalinist mass-murder and mass-incarceration, Solzhenitsyn the prophet of Western decline, Solzhenitsyn the Russian patriot and Christian witness. Here we meet Solzhenitsyn the writer, a man searching for a quiet place to gather his thoughts, refine them, and put them on paper. Between the ruthless tyranny of the East and the clamorous democracy of the West, he will not relinquish his vocations as dissident, prophet, witness, and patriot, but he needs to find a place where he can pursue these vocations in his way, the way of an heir to the legacies of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, legacies deformed by two generations of partisan hacks. “I do not fit in with either system”; Christians seldom do, entirely, with any, and surely not with the modern ‘project,’ East or West.

The exile he sketches began with his 1974 expulsion from the Soviet Union, the first and heaviest “millstone.” Solzhenitsyn published his...

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Will Morrisey
    • 1
  1. 1.HillsdaleUSA

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