Yesterday, I finished reading Volume Three of The Gulag Archipelago. I started Volume One in mid-July.
Crushing. Horrifying. Sickening. Enlightening. Inspiring.
Scary: I see some similarities between those who built the Soviet regime, and some of the cultural and political powerhouses in the United States today.
This is not a book to be deeply discussed on a blog called Suitable For Mixed Company, though. Definitely not. On the upside, none of the graphic descriptions or foul language was gratuitous. It was necessary to the purpose of relaying history. And since I’m convinced that part of our problem in our culture is that history has been prettified too much, even for adults, I recommend this book, but only for grown-ups, or those who hope to be a grown-up soon.
However, if you do read it, please don’t stop at Volume One. Or Two. You won’t understand what the author has to say if you stop midway, and you’ll miss some of the best bits.
Has anybody else around here read it? I’m finding it’s making me rethink some of what I thought I knew about the 20th century. And Russia. And communism. And who should be considered the intelligentsia. And about how prisons should be run, and how long sentences should be. And what ideology can do to a person. And more. I’ll be processing this one for a while, I suspect.
How about you? Let’s move the discussion over to Judson’s Corral, shall we?