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The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, books III-IV (The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 #3-4)

4.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  866 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews

Drawing on his own incarceration and exile, as well as on evidence from more than 200 fellow prisoners and Soviet archives, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn reveals the entire apparatus of Soviet repression -- the state within the state that ruled all-powerfully.

Through truly Shakespearean portraits of its victims -- men, women, and children -- we encounter secret police operat

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Paperback, 712 pages
Published January 1st 1992 by Perennial (first published 1973)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,842)
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Stela

Termin cu inima strînsă și volumul al II-lea al Arhipelagului Gulag, în care Alexandr Soljenițîn, enumerînd metodele „exterminării prin muncă” folosite de sistemul comunist sovietic, descrie totodată încă alte metode care fac dovada infinitei inventivități umane în a face rău. Apropo, știați că celebra deviză „Cine nu muncește nu greșește” aparține marelui gînditor Lenin? În orice caz, adevărul ei a fost cu prisosință verificat în lagăr, unde munca însemna moarte sigură, din cauza unor condiții
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Joseph Sverker
This book troubles my soul deeply, as I think it does with every reader. It is not at all heavy in the sense of style, well that was an exageration, but S.'s language is very vivid and capturing despite that this is not a novel. It is probably fitting that the Gulag Archipelago is immensly long, since that heavyness of the books can only be match by that heavyness of the subject. S. shows that massive proportions of the foulness of the communist regime. It permeated the whole of society and it i ...more
John
Nov 12, 2010 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
The second volume of the Gulag trilogy is primarily focused on the work camps. He continues his excellent narrative with some amazing stories and describes the people of the archipelago as they really were. This is a remarkable work and should receive a wider audience than it does. This book is about humanity at its best--but more often at its worst. This is one of the most important works available to understand the human soul.
Grant
Feb 27, 2015 Grant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Solzhenitsyn continues his mammoth exploration of the Gulag with a detailed study of the labor camp system, its practices, and its residents, the "natives" of Gulag. He then follows with a much shorter meditation on the choices human beings trapped in the system faced, to retain their humanity and likely lose their lives, or to betray the very core of humanity within them in order to survive. Hard reading, but necessary.
Al
Jul 15, 2008 Al rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have you read the first volume? This is just as important a read as the first. I found it is also a bit easier to read than the first. This volume deals more with search and seizure, and conviction; set years ago on a foriegn backdrop, it reads like an omen of today's political atmosphere, a warning to protect our rights.
Dave Toropov
A brilliant, inspiring example of history as an act of resistance and compassion. Solzhenitsyn focuses much of this volume on the different styles of relationships and perspectives in the roles of zeks, trusties, jailers, free workers and virtually all those present at Stalin's gulag camps and prisons. The level of detail is massive but it is obvious that Solzhenitsyn provides this intricacy to give a full investigative scope of to a horrific project that would otherwise be sanitized, washed awa ...more
Ross
Jan 06, 2016 Ross rated it really liked it
As with the first volume, it's mostly a litany of horrors and the spiritual degradation of those under Soviet rule. This volume focuses on life in the camps. After awhile no act of cruelty really surprises you, and I guess in that way you have effectively been placed inside one of the characteristics of a Russian archetype of the time. It's such a long trudge, which sometimes I felt fitting and others I felt excessive, but overall why not tell as many stories as he has available? With written hi ...more
Jules
Oct 20, 2013 Jules rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Auch hier ist - wie in Band 1 - die Lektüre wieder sehr, sehr heftig. Inhalt ist hier das Lagerleben im engeren Sinne sowie alles drumherum: Das Lagerumfeld, die Wachen, verschiedene Gruppen im Lager, die Art der Arbeit, die die Häftlinge verrichten mussten, die Unterkünfte, die Beziehungen der einzelnen Gruppen untereinander sowie auch Darüberhinausgehendes wie die Ziele des Gulags und die dahinterstehenden Ideen (Wir brauchen möglichst viele Arbeitskräfte für irgendwelche größenwahnsinnigen Ba ...more
Buddy Don
Oct 05, 2014 Buddy Don rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
This is the second of the three books of the entire work, this one covering the work camps, for the most part, though it also has a short section at the end evalutating the effects of the Gulag on the souls of prisoners, their keepers, and the society as a whole. It is not all negative by any means and is surprisingly uplifting reading, though it is also very gruesome. I am about to begin the third volume, after which I'll try to write a better review of the entire work.
Paul
Mar 19, 2016 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Truly worthwhile. A historical record and analysis and a personal story all running in parallel. Provides surprising insights into workings of governments, psychology, human motivations and of course the mind harrowing horrors of Russian 20th century history, showing how a whole society can collapse in on itself.
Sheng Peng
May 08, 2016 Sheng Peng rated it it was amazing
Disillusioning. And showcases human immiseration beyond the average reader's wildest imaginations. Unchecked power breeds pure evil seems to be the message of the day. Remember that.
Enrique
Dec 08, 2008 Enrique rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En este tomo, Solzhenitsyn analiza la sociologia de ese microcosmos que es el gulag; desde los presos polítiocs, los cofrades hasta los jefes del campo, en este parte se adentra a la psicologia de la Rusia de los años 30 a 60 y deja ver como todo esto afecto a la sociedad actual.

Aquellos que ya leyeron el primer tomo, esta es olo la continuación, por lo que no debiera ser ninguna sorpresa.

Totalmente recomendable, eso si, hay que estar dispuesto a recorrer los tres tomos en su totalida, aunque es
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Karl-johan Wallander
Nov 29, 2014 Karl-johan Wallander rated it it was amazing
Samma som föregående Gulag-böcker av Solsjenitsyn.
Ilze Ārniece
Jan 20, 2015 Ilze Ārniece rated it really liked it
"...what would one then have to say about our so evident torturers: Why does not fate punish them? Why do they prosper? And the only solution to this would be that the meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering, but... in the development of the soul. From that point of view our tortures have been punished most horribly of all: they are turning into swine, they are departing downward from humanity.’’
Vasil Kolev
Apr 07, 2015 Vasil Kolev rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-read, history
Преводът на моменти куца, но пак е на ниво.
David Miller
May 18, 2014 David Miller rated it it was amazing
After reading the first two volumes (books 1 - 4) of the Gulag Archipelago my view of human nature is greatly expanded; both into how cruel and monstrous we can be, and also how great spiritual beauty can grow in the middle of such ugliness. Among the best books I have ever read.
Brendan
Mar 16, 2016 Brendan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just as beautiful and terrifying as the first volume.
Bogdan
Jul 16, 2009 Bogdan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
You, as a reader, cannot be changed after you read this series of "literary investigation". It is not only the writing style that captivates you, it is about the tragism and unbelievable destinies presented in this great book. It should become mandatory reading for young people all over the world, and maybe this way the world will have less dictatorial leaders and fewer cruelties.
My copy of this book is in Romanian.
Jan Kjellin
"It was amazing" lyder betyget jag satt (fem stjärnor) på delarna tre och fyra i Alexander Solsjenitsyns skildring av GULAG. Fyra stjärnor innebär att jag "really liked it". Sanningen ligger kanske däremellan.

Ändå landar jag på fem av fem stjärnor för att det:

1. Är läsning som alla borde göra.
2. Handlar om oss och vårt samhälle - om man läser mellan raderna.
Jack
Mar 09, 2009 Jack rated it really liked it
Brilliant, but frequently hard sledding. Rightfully fearing historical amnesia, Solzhenitsyn didn't want to leave anything out, and so he didn't. For all that, he captures the particulars of camp life with ferocious immediacy.
David Hill
Jul 26, 2011 David Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Through this study of the corrective labor camps (Russian word-play turns this to destructive labor camps), Solzhenitsyn reveals bits of his personal story as he describes the history and mechanisms of the Gulag.
Craig Andrews
Nov 18, 2014 Craig Andrews rated it it was amazing
Stunning with the inhumanity of man upon man. It opens eyes to where a government can go if the people are not vigilant with vetting their leaders. A warning for all of us.
Greg Fanoe
Sep 24, 2015 Greg Fanoe rated it it was amazing
Remarkable. The moral force with which Solzhenitsyn writes and the fervor with which he seeks to hold people responsible for their actions are a true inspiration.
Robert Kiehn
Jul 01, 2014 Robert Kiehn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books, favorites, featured
Great book, classic book on how corrupt Stalin and his regime/Soviet Empire was
and it's main focus it on Russian prisons and gulags but other topics as well.
Chris
May 09, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have given it five stars if it wasn't for some of Solzhenitsyn's off the cuff marks about homosexuality that weren't necessary.
علی
Jul 02, 2007 علی rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
این رمان بلند سولژنیتسن به نام "مجمع الجزایر گولاگ" توسط عبدالله توکل ترجمه شده و چاپ دوم آن در 1366 توسط انتشارات سروش منتشر شده است
David
Jan 15, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Gulag story continues. This section covers the labor camps. XXXcelent!
Michael Davis
Dec 07, 2011 Michael Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holy crap! I had some idea but I didn't think anyone was worse than the Nazis
Kathy
Oct 28, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it
How can these terrible things happen in our world?
Marcus
Jun 03, 2010 Marcus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian, non-fiction
Review forthcoming, probably after volume 3.
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  • Man Is Wolf to Man: Surviving the Gulag
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  • Execution by Hunger: The Hidden Holocaust
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  • Kolyma Tales
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Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was a Soviet and Russian novelist, dramatist, and historian. Through his writings he helped to make the world aware of the Gulag, the Soviet Union's forced labor camp system – particularly The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, two of his best-known works.

Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970. He was exiled from
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More about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn...

Other Books in the Series

The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 (6 books)
  • The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Books I-II
  • The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, books V-VII
  • Fängelseindustrin (Gulag-arkipelagen, #1)
  • Evig rörelse (Gulag-arkipelagen, #2)
  • The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

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“If you live in a graveyard, you can't weep for everyone.” 16 likes
“By now we are even unsure whether we have the right to talk about the events of our own lives.” 5 likes
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