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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

What listeners say about The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

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Important context, narrator lacks flow

I was fortunate enough to meet a few people that survived the goulags so I wanted to listen to aleksandr's account. I waited a few months for this to become available as an audio book ( pre ordered it) and once I started listening I wished I had bought the paper copy. the narrator lacks any rhythm that a native English speaker would be accustomed to. it's excruciatingly frustrating to have paused between words in a middle of a sentence and then again rush through details when the author details processes. I would not recommend this novel as an audio book to anyone. will finish listening to this and then probably buy a hard copy and read it . Sad that such an important piece of literature was ruined by a bad choice of narrator.

10 people found this helpful

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Ignore those who say the narrator isn't good

He brings passion to the poetic writings of terror and evil that is this book.

5 people found this helpful

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Heartbreaking piece of history

I was hesitant to buy this book Based on some reviews of poor performance by the narrator. I recommend completely disregarding those reviews or if you can’t handle some short pauses, crank it up to 1.3X speed.
The book itself is absolutely brilliant.

3 people found this helpful

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must read... or listen I suppose .

this is a heart wrenching tale or tales of the gulag archipelago, that is a must read in these times of cultural revolution we see churning around us and can be a frame work for the pitfalls of many movements in out current society . most will not see it this way but some will make the connections. there are many . prepare your self for heartache if planning on listening to this fully .

3 people found this helpful

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More inspirational than you might think

It takes a special level of artistry to delve into the worst of human nature and do it all with unwavering optimism.
Written with the wisdom, humility and evident love for humanity. At times it felt like poetry.
Full of incredible stories of conflict, escape, torture and struggle. For a 22 hour audiobook, this Abridged version does an amazing job of keeping you on the edge of your seat. Very well performed as well.

3 people found this helpful

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a great examination of humankind's good and evil.

listened at 1.5 because of slow pace... absolutely compelling and challenging story. recommended to anyone.

3 people found this helpful

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Extremely Important

Hopefully this book can be consumed by enough people so that communism can never enslave The West again.

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Should be a mandatory read in Schools.

A masterpiece detailing the absolute horror the Soviet people were put through for decades upon decades. I recommend this book to everyone, I was appaled reading this book that I have never even heard about any of this beforehand. I think our society would look a lot different than it does today if people really understood what happens under socialism/communism.

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difficult truth

Terrible story highlighting the lowest points of humanity. Sadly, the dark ages of our history were not necessarily centuries in the past

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HORRIBLE TEMPO

Of course this is one of the most important books in modern history.

But the tempo of the reader makes me almost suicidal. Theres long uneccesary pauses AFTER. EVERY. COMMA. AND. SENTENCE. Even at 1.2 - 1.6 x speed its horrible to listen to. So disapointed, was lookin forward to listening to it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Blake H
  • 2020-10-17

false advertising.

when I pre-ordered this title it was going to be narrated by Jordan B. Peterson. I was never informed or given the option to revoke my pre order... this book is published in the public domain so I didn't buy the book for the audio I bought it for the narrator and I am aware that jbp has a lot going on in life but still atleast notify the person(s) of the (massive) change when the book is buyable for 0.00 (cause its free) any money spent is for a reason and mine was spent for the narrator... very very disappointed

66 people found this helpful

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  • Arlon James
  • 2020-11-07

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!

60 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-11-06

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.

21 people found this helpful

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  • madison Cate
  • 2020-10-27

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.

15 people found this helpful

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  • jay
  • 2020-10-23

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

13 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick
  • 2020-11-08

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.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-11-07

Must read

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

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-11-28

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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Jeffrey J. Miller
  • 2020-11-08

Must read book!

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

5 people found this helpful

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  • The Marics
  • 2021-02-10

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.

3 people found this helpful