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Based on exclusive, personal interviews with Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Joseph Pearce's book provides profound insight into a towering literary and political figure.

From his pro-Communist youth to his imprisonment in the Gulags, his exile in America to his return to Russia, this is the story of a man who struggled with the most weighty questions of humanity. When a person has suffered the most terrible physical and emotional torture, what becomes of his spirit? Can politics and ...

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Based on exclusive, personal interviews with Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Joseph Pearce's book provides profound insight into a towering literary and political figure.

From his pro-Communist youth to his imprisonment in the Gulags, his exile in America to his return to Russia, this is the story of a man who struggled with the most weighty questions of humanity. When a person has suffered the most terrible physical and emotional torture, what becomes of his spirit? Can politics and economics truly provide the answers a modern society needs? If peace and justice are never fully attained, what hope is there for the future?

Arguably one of the most significant writers of the twentieth century, Solzhenitsyn, both before and after the fall of Communism, spoke out against the Russian regime. His faith deeply informed his literary approach and response to the excesses of modern materialism. On the spiritual, cultural, and socio-political level, his writings have much to teach the world.

This biography contains previously unpublished prose poems written by Solzhenitsyn after his return to Russia, and a gallery of rare photographs.

Pearce has grasped with great insight the spiritual core of Solzhenitsyn's achievement as a writer, and indeed as a prophet to Russia and the world. He writes with warm sympathy for Russia's greatest literary voice in modern times. —David Aikman, Author, Great Souls: Six Who Changed the Century

Joseph Pearce is best on what matters most about Solzhenitsyn: the centrality of the author's Christian faith. It is no wonder that Solzhenitsyn chose to . . . provide Pearce with fresh information. Newcomers to Solzhenitsyn should start with this biography. They will find here a highly readable rendition of one of the most sensational lives of the twentieth century. —Edward E. Ericson Jr., Author, Solzhenitsyn and the Modern World

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Once a darling of the West for his high-profile rejection of Sovietism, Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn lost some of his elevated status when his religious views became known. This comprehensive if uncritical biography of the winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in literature is based in part on Pearce's exclusive interviews with his subject. Pearce details Solzhenitsyn's transformation from an ardently Marxist youth into a literary anachronism in post-Soviet Russia, with the bulk of the text focusing on the author's mid-century experiences. Solzhenitsyn spent years in a Soviet labor camp, then in exile in the gulag after being jailed for anti-Soviet sentiments found in his letters, and eventually was able to leave for the U.S. He emerged as a vociferous critic of the Soviet regime and a writer of international renown, with his memoir of his life in the gulag, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, among his most famous works. Pearce explores Solzhenitsyn's literary output, emphasizing its cultural context and impact. During the 1970s, Solzhenitsyn lost critical support when he began to denounce what he considered from a religious standpoint the selfish materialism of the West. Ever the scholar, he located the origin of the problem in the transition between the sensibilities of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Pearce, who has penned biographies of J.R.R. Tolkien and G.K. Chesterton, gives little credence to Solzhenitsyn's critics. So readers will gain a detailed impression of one of the leading intellectuals of the mid-20th century, but only an incomplete understanding of his latter-day contexts. B&w photos. (Feb. 1) Forecast: This book could be a tough sell, with a bio of Solzhenitsyn already in print, from a major writer (D.M. Thomas). However, Baker Book House has made the wise move of pricing its title low for a hardcover--lower even than the trade paperback edition of Thomas's book, and the Pearce has a special draw in that it includes previously unpublished poetry by the Russian author, which will ensure some interest. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Addresses the life and work of Nobel Prize winning writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, portraying his evolution from Marxist youth to exiled dissenter and his return to Russia. Analysis focuses on the writer's moral convictions, rooted in Christian belief. Includes b&w photos and a set of previously unpublished prose poems written after his return to Russia. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From The Critics
Solzhenitsyn: A Soul In Exile is a new biography of Alexander Solzhenitsyn portraying a complex man of integrity and faith, and whose anti-materialist stance and call for a "moral revolution" are as relevant today as they were fifty years ago. Biographer Joseph Pearce reassess this influential Russian writer who gave voice to the more than sixty million victims of Soviet terror, and who won the Nobel Prize for "the ethical force" of his literary work. Even with the collapse of Communism, Solzhenitsyn continues to be an outspoken critic of Russian leadership's role in that country's economic collapse and consequent rise of lawlessness. This impressive, highly recommended biography showcases Solzhenitsyn's life and work as a courageous stand for truth rooted in Christian and moral beliefs as evidenced in his life, poetry, plays, novels, and pronouncements.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586174965
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2011
  • Edition description: Revised, Expanded Edition
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 992,496
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Pearce, a Writer in Residence at Ave Maria University, Florida, has written numerous acclaimed literary biographies, including Literary Converts,
Tolkien: Man and Myth, The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde,
Wisdom and Innocence: GK Chesterton, and The Quest for Shakespeare.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface to the Second Edition xi

Preface to the First Edition xii

1 Child of the Revolution 1

2 Blissful Ignorance 14

3 Man and Wife 37

4 Man of War 48

5 Arrested Development 67

6 Hell into Purgatory 79

7 Profit from Loss 95

8 Life and Death 114

9 Beautiful Exile 129

10 Ivan the Terrible 148

11 Too Hot to Handle 167

12 Old Enemies and New Friends 183

13 "I Feel Sorry for Russia" 200

14 Out in the Cold 213

15 Cold-Shouldered 234

16 Champion of Orthodoxy 251

17 Russia Reborn 268

18 Rebuilding on Green Foundations 283

19 A Prophet at Home 303

20 Solzhenitsyn at Eighty 323

21 Troublous Times 340

22 Pessimistic Optimist 354

23 "I Am Not Afraid of Death" 361

24 Consummatum Est 373

Index 381

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Customer Reviews

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