Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The writer who destroyed an empire

In December, the PowerBlog is marking the centenary of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s birth (Dec. 11, 1918) At the NewYork Times, Solzhenitsyn biographer Michael Scammell says the Russian novelist and historian “did more than anyone else to bring the Soviet Union to its knees.” For his critical approach to Soviet life, Solzhenitsyn was evicted from the state-sponsored Writers’ Union and became a virtual outlaw in his own country. Continue Reading...

Saving the entitlement state: Balancing ‘humanitarian policy’ with economic reality

When debating entitlement reform, any critic of the status quo will be quick to remember the infamous 2012 campaign commercial wherein Rep. Paul Ryan pushes his grandmother over a cliff. For some, the ad was typical political-hardball-turned-cultural-meme; for others, it remains a haunting reminder of the vilification one is bound to endure by asking even the tamest questions about frightening math. Continue Reading...

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the dragon slayer

At City Journal, Solzhenitsyn scholar Daniel J. Mahoney offers “A Centennial Tribute” marking the 100th anniversary of the Russian author’s birth. Mahoney, who holds the Augustine Chair in Distinguished Scholarship at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, describes Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn as “the century’s greatest critic of the totalitarian immolation of liberty and human dignity.” The Russian novelist and historian was … … a thinker and moral witness who illumined the fate of the human soul hemmed in by barbed wire in the East, and a materialist cornucopia in the West, the mature Solzhenitsyn remained remarkably faithful to the twin imperatives of courage and truth. Continue Reading...

An Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn centenary

On this day in 1918, Russian writer and historian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born in Kislovodsk, Russia, to Taisia and Isaaki Solzhenitsyn, parents of peasant stock who had received a university education. Continue Reading...

Conflict and resolution: Charles de Gaulle’s understanding of ‘nation’

In an article written for Public Discourse, Samuel Gregg. Acton’s director of research, reviews Julian Jackson’s recent book about General Charles de Gaulle. The book clearly communicates the idea that “de Gaulle’s conception of France as a nation had a very specific character.” “De Gaulle” is a historical biography, not a commentary on present-day debates concerning globalization or nationalism. Continue Reading...

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