Alexander Solzhenitsyn was born in 1918, a year after the Bolsheviks stormed to power throughout Russia. He studied at the University of Rostov and served with distinction in the Russian Army during World War II. In 1945, he was arrested and imprisoned in a labor camp for eight years because he had allegedly made a derogatory remark about Stalin. Released in 1953 after the death of Stalin, he was forced to live in Central Asia, where he remained until Premier Khrushchev's historic "secret speech" denouncing Stalin in 1956. Rehabilitated in 1957, Solzhenitsyn moved to Ryazin, married a chemistry student, and began to teach mathematics at the local school. In his spare time he started to write. In 1970, Solzhenitsyn received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Four years later the Soviet Union revoked his citizenship, and he was deported. Solzhenitsyn settled in Vermont in 1984, but eventually returned to Russia in 1994, after the collapse of communism. He died in 2008.
"A masterpiece...Squarely in the mainstream of Russia's great literary traditions."--The Nation
"An extraordinary human document."--Moscow's Daily Mail "Cannot fail to arouse bitterness and pain in the heart of the reader. A literary and political event of the first magnitude."--New Statesman "Stark...the story of how one falsely accused convict and his fellow prisoners survived or perished in an arctic slave labor camp after the war."--Time "Both as a political tract and as a literary work, it is in the Doctor Zhivago category."--Washington Post "Dramatic...outspoken...graphically detailed...a moving human record."--Library Journal