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...

Back to Civilization’s Point Zero?

Visiting San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district in 1968, Tom Wolfe was struck by the way hippies there “sought nothing less than to sweep aside all codes and restraints of the past and start out from zero.” Continue Reading...

Stories from the Gulag

A new online exhibit: European Memories of the Gulag. (HT: Instapundit/Claire Berlinski) From 1939 to 1953, nearly one million people were deported to the Gulag from the European territories annexed by the USSR at the start of the Second World War and those that came under Soviet influence after the War: some to work camps but most as forced settlers in villages in Siberia and Central Asia. Continue Reading...

Digging In to the Crimes of Communism

Having recently finished reading Jean-François Revel’s Last Exit to Utopia – in which he excoriates leftist intellectuals for ignoring the crimes of communist totalitarianism and their efforts to resurrect the deadly ideology – and having just read a few more chapters of Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago over lunch, it seems providential that I would stumble across this article at City Journal on the failure of researchers to seriously dig into the now-available archives of the Soviet Union: Pavel Stroilov, a Russian exile in London, has on his computer 50,000 unpublished, untranslated, top-secret Kremlin documents, mostly dating from the close of the Cold War. Continue Reading...

Last Exit To Utopia

U·to·pi·a [yoo-toh-pee-uh]- noun – an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. The word was first used in the book Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More. The opposite of dystopia. Continue Reading...

The Gulag Lives On – But Not in Our Culture

I linked Daniel Crandall’s fine commentary on the paucity of films devoted to the Gulag in this week’s Acton News & Commentary (sign up here). But do to an, ahem, editing error the link did not send readers to The Gulag Lives On – But Not in Our Culture on OrthodoxyToday.org. Continue Reading...