Daniel Mahoney presents ‘Judging Communism and All Its Works: Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago Reconsidered’

2017-04-13 by

Daniel J. Mahoney is Augustine Chair in Distinguished Scholarship at Assumption College, where he has taught since 1986. An expert on statesmanship, French political philosophy and anti-totalitarian thought, his books include The Liberal Political Science of Raymond Aron (1992), De Gaulle: Statesmanship, Grandeur, and Modern Democracy (1996), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Ascent from Ideology (2001), The Conservative Foundations of the Liberal Order (2011) and The Other Solzhenitsyn: Telling the Truth About a Misunderstood Writer and Thinker (2014).

Professor Mahoney explores Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, at once a great literary work and an unparalleled witness to the totalitarian ravages of the bodies and souls of human beings. This remarkably capacious book includes historical discussions, personal reminiscences of Solzhenitsyn’s time in the Soviet camps, political reflections and philosophical meditations. At its heart is an epic poem in which Solzhenitsyn recovers the great and enduring drama of good and evil in the human soul. In Russia, the availability of The Gulag Archipelago, which is required reading in abridged form in Russian high schools, provides hope that the terrible tragedies of the past will not be repeated. In the West, it remains an indispensable warning against the totalitarian temptation.



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