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.
If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?