Solzhenitsyn, Reagan, and the Death of Détente

In a tribute I wrote earlier, posted at National Review, I noted that it is impossible to capture in one column what Solzhenitsyn meant, experienced, and how he went about translating it to the West. Professors like me know such frustration well, as we struggle to fully convey the impact of such a man to a classroom of students born after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In my earlier piece, I talked about The Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn's shocking firsthand account of the Soviet forced-labor-camp system, where he himself had been held captive, and where tens of millions of innocents perished. In a disturbing way, that book may have made Solzhenitsyn the most significant of all Russian writers, quite a prize when one considers the caliber of the company.That book had an incalculable impact, hitting with a force in the 1970s that no Soviet SS-20 missile could have delivered, and making Solzhenitsyn a pariah in the Evil Empire. One of the most important effects of the book was that it...(Read Full Article)