The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

1973 The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation By Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn. Translated from the Russian by Thomas P. Whitney. Harper & Row, New York, 1973, first edition 660 pages, index. LOC 73-22756, ISBN 0-06-013914-5

From the Covers

THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO 1918-1956- An experiment in lieteray investigation. For years I have with reluctant heart withheld from publication this already completed book: my obligation to those still living outweighed my obligation to the dead. But now State Security has seized the book anyway. I have no alternative but to publish it immediately


Considered one of the masterpieces of 20th-century non-fiction, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn's THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO was a massive and searing expose of the Soviet Union's brutal labor camp system, a system in which millions died in freezing and sickeningly inhumane conditions. Solzhenitsyn's book introduced the term "Gulag" (GULAG is a Russian acronym) into the international consciousness and forced the world to come to terms with the atrocities of the Soviet experiment.

Using his own experiences (Solzhenitsyn spent 11 years in the camp system after describing Stalin in mildly disparaging terms in one of his private letters) and the testimony of scores of other survivors, Solzhenitsyn created a vast and appalling testament to what he felt was the evil backbone of not only Stalinism, but the entire Soviet Union.

More than merely a historical document, THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO is a work of great art. Like Primo Levi's SURVIVAL IN AUSCHWITZ, Solzhenitsyn uses terrible insight, brilliant pathos, and the darkest imaginable sense of humor, to allow readers to conceive of the inconceivable, and to experience the experiences of people being crushed by machinations of the State.

Publisher's Note

Describes individual escapes and attempted escapes from Stalin's camps, a disciplined, sustained resistance put down with tanks after forty days, and the forced removal and extermination of millions of peasants.

Publisher Description

Drawing on his own incarceration and exile, as well as on evidence from more than 200 fellow prisoners and Soviet archives, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn reveals the entire apparatus of Soviet repression -- the state within the state that ruled all-powerfully.

Through truly Shakespearean portraits of its victims -- men, women, and children -- we encounter secret police operations, labor camps and prisons the uprooting or extermination of whole populations, the "welcome" that awaited Russian soldiers who had been German prisoners of war. Yet we also witness the astounding moral courage of the incorruptible, who, defenseless, endured great brutality and degradation.

The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 -- a grisly indictment of a regime, fashioned here into a veritable literary miracle -- has now been updated with a new introduction that includes the fall of the Soviet Union and Solzhenitsyn's move back to Russia.

Library of Congress Catalog Listing

  • LC Control No.: 73022756
  • Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
  • Personal Name: Solzhenit︠s︡yn, Aleksandr Isaevich, 1918-2008.
  • Uniform Title: Arkhipelag GULag, 1918-1956. English
  • Main Title: The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956; an experiment in literary investigation [by] Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn. Translated from the Russian by Thomas P. Whitney.
  • Edition Information: [1st ed.]
  • Published/Created: New York, Harper & Row [1974-78]
  • Description: 3 v. illus. 24 cm.
  • ISBN:
    • 0060139145 (v. 1)
    • 0060803320 (v. 1, pbk.)
  • Notes:
    • Translation of Arkhipelag GULag, 1918-1956.
    • Vol. 3 translated by H. Willetts.
    • Includes bibliographical references.
  • Subjects:
    • Prisons --Soviet Union.
    • Political prisoners --Soviet Union.
    • Concentration camps --Soviet Union.
  • LC Classification: HV9713 .S6413 1974
  • Dewey Class No.: 365/.45/0947
  • Language Code: eng rus
  • Geographic Area Code: e-ur---
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