R.I.P., Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Nobel-prize winning author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose gripping portrayals of the brutal Soviet penal system erased leftist sympathies for Communism in Europe and America during the 1970s, died earlier today at the age of 89.
His most gripping work, The Gulag Archipelago trilogy, provided so much first-person testimonials that refutation by the KGB was impossible. A far more accessible book, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (less than 3% the volume of The Gulag Archipelago), is equally as compelling -- and showcases the profound strength of character that Solzhenitsyn possessed to endure the hardships of a system designed to crush the spirit.
Solzhenitsyn's criticism of the GULags also honed his observations of the West, which he viewed as decadent and weak. His wry wit, "gallows humor" and brilliant investigative journalism helped end one of the most oppressive systems our world has ever seen.
До свидания, friend.