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Publisher's Summary

"Best Nonfiction Book of the 20th Century" (Time

“It is impossible to name a book that had a greater effect on the political and moral consciousness of the late 20th century.” (David Remnick, The New Yorker

The Nobel Prize winner’s towering masterpiece of world literature, the searing record of four decades of terror and oppression, in one abridged volume (authorized by the author). Features a new foreword by Anne Applebaum. 

Drawing on his own experiences before, during, and after his 11 years of incarceration and exile, on evidence provided by more than 200 fellow prisoners, and on Soviet archives, Solzhenitsyn reveals with torrential narrative and dramatic power the entire apparatus of Soviet repression, the state within the state that once ruled all-powerfully with its creation by Lenin in 1918. Through truly Shakespearean portraits of its victims - this man, that woman, that child - we encounter the secret police operations, the 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 astounding moral courage, the incorruptibility with which the occasional individual or a few scattered groups, all defenseless, endured brutality and degradation. And Solzhenitsyn’s genius has transmuted this grisly indictment into a literary miracle. 

“The greatest and most powerful single indictment of a political regime ever leveled in modern times.” (George F. Kennan) 

“Solzhenitsyn’s masterpiece.... The Gulag Archipelago helped create the world we live in today.” (Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag: A History, from the foreword)

©2007 Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

Featured Article: Essential Russian Authors to Know in Audio


Don’t be daunted by the towering reputations of Russia’s literary giants. Listening is the perfect way to appreciate the masters. Russia is a sprawling country with a rich and complex history, which is reflected in its literature. Whether you’re keen on brushing up on classic Russian literature or you want to find a new author to explore, we’ve rounded up 13 of the best Russian authors, classic and contemporary, whose work you should know.

What listeners say about The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

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Mandatory reading in Russia, not USA. Why?

Why is this excellent, powerful record not REQUIRED READING for US students. It’s a damned shame that the sickness of Marxism has taken such hold here... wake up Americans!

103 people found this helpful

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A must read (or listen)

One of the most important books of the 20th Century. It's not what I expected, it was more. Study the details and never forget how a society void of personal liberties can devour itself.

39 people found this helpful

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Incredible

This might be the single most Important book I have ever read or listened to. So much insight into the current political situation in the US. Communism is the true contagion we should be fearing.

Outstanding narration.

25 people found this helpful

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Very necessary read

This boo should be mandatory reading for any person who wants to go into the social sciences, especially political science. This book contains a history lesson that needs to be remembered forever.

23 people found this helpful

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There's a reason this is considered a classic

Good read. An uncensored look into the depths of deprivation and psychology of the communist experiment experience. Should be required reading

18 people found this helpful

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Counter-revolutionary, yet Revolutionary

I wish this was required reading for me in high school. I had embraced so much leftist ideology up until the moment I listened to this book. I sincerely believe that so many more people my age would abandon Marxist thinking if the even got halfway through this book.
I’m now planning on reading the full three-volume version to what more I can get out of it. I can’t emphasize enough just how life-changing Solzhenitsyn’s writing is.

14 people found this helpful

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Must read for the modernday social justice warrior

A powerful reminder on how far left can go. The documentation of the book is unparalleled, it will leave a mark on you, but it is a mark of enlightenment.

12 people found this helpful

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Must read

The chapter on torture is difficult to stomach, but this book contains lots of wisdom.

10 people found this helpful

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Must read book!

One of the best historical treatments of atrocities of communist atrocities. Excellent performance as well.

8 people found this helpful

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Amazing

Instant mind blow from beginning to end. Unspeakable horrors, yet we have so much to learn from their stories.

This book should be required reading for all US high schoolers, as I heard it is in much of Russia today.

Americans could learn a lot and save ourselves great suffering if we heed the final words of Solzhenitsyn.

4 people found this helpful

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  • mmm interesting
  • 10-21-20

abridged version

Great abridged version. Edited beautifully would highly recommend. Haunting and life changing listening to the account of misery.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-07-21

of course its 5 stars. its gulag.

knocked this over playing xbox. what can I say? it's the gulag. to give it less than 5 stars is sacrilege.