Tribute To Alexandre Solzhenitsyn 1918-2008

Posted on August 5, 2008. Filed under: Church History, Culture Matters, Political Issues |

Monday, August 25, 2008– Here is an article on Solzhenitsyn that takes a different tack, but I think he is not far from the truth in many ways.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008– One of my heroes of the twentieth century died Sunday, the great Russian author Alexandre Solzhenitsyn. I became acquainted with his work in college at OU when I took 3 history classes under Dr. Tobias in Russian/Soviet History and some political theory classes under professors Peters and Malitz. “One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich” I read while in college because it went along with some of the Ayn Rand books I was reading, and I read about half of the 3 volume “Gulag Archipelago” in the Army. I had heard of Solzhenitysn when I was in High School because that is when he won the Nobel prize.

Having grown up in the nuclear, post-sputnik age, remembering that the church where I got saved and baptized (FBC, Elk City, OK) had a fallout shelter, remembering the tornado and nuclear blast drills in school, I grew up knowing that the Russians were the bad guys. Wanting to be a soldier since I was little, I always thought I would end up fighting the Russians in central Europe. But reading authors like Ayn Rand ( a Russian immigrant), Pasternak (Dr. Zhivago) and Solzhenitsyn, and hearing of the bravery of Andrei Sakharov, gave me hope that there might eventually be an awakening in the Soviet Union and that our two countries could be friends instead of enemies.

Reading “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”, Orwell’s “1984”, Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”, Rand’s “Fountainhead”, “Atlas Shrugged” and “Anthem”, Koestler’s “Darkness at Noon” and a few others really led me to be inoculated against communism, fascism, and statism of all varieties including American Liberalism. But Solzhenitsyn’s work stood out in my mind more than the others in some ways, I guess because he had experienced the Gulag personally. He was Ivan Denisovich. And the fact that Solzhenitsyn was an outspoken Christian also made me stand up and take notice. Here was a Christian whose works were not published by Zondervan, Bethany House or Crossway. You couldn’t even find his works in Christian stores. But his premises were Christian; he was writing from a Christian worldview to change the world. He had been to hell and lived to tell the story. He spoke truth to evil before it became a cute phrase used by pampered rich democrat statists protesting the Bush administration.

I remember when he was exiled to the West he came to America and the crowds cheered. But when he spoke of Christ and the moral failures of the West, the cheers went silent. The American media already corrupted by the mid 1970’s, could not tolerate a Christian Russian dissident. And the west, instead of listening to his prophetic voice, shrugged in apathy at the quaint Russian, much to our own impoverishment.

I acknowledge that we are living in a post literate age, people no longer read much. I am reasonably sure that Christians read more than non-Christians, but are we reading the great books? Along with our Bibles, and the works of people like RC Sproul, John MacArthur, John Piper, Francis Schaeffer, AW Tozer, Jonathon Edwards, etc. we ought to be reading folks like Solzhenitsyn, Rand, Koestler, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Dickens, Hawthorne, etc. I would strongly urger everyone to go out and purchase “One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich” and read it. It is a fast read and not a thick book.

Here is an outstanding article by Dinesh D’Souza about Solzhenitsyn. He spends a lot of time about the speech at Harvard in 1978 that turned off the press and other libtards.

Here are a couple of articles about Solzhenitsyn, written by those far more erudite than I.“one_word_of_truth_will_outweigh_the_whole_world”?page=1,0,4320735.story

And here are some places you can purchase his books:

Here is his famous Harvard Address, thank you to the ISI website:


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3 Responses to “Tribute To Alexandre Solzhenitsyn 1918-2008”

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As you know, I didn’t grow up reading much and am now trying to make up for lost time. Your reflection on Solzhenitsyn has made me remember the necessity of reading outside of my bubble. Sorry we didn’t get to chat on Sunday, but I appreciate the thumbs up.

Great Article , I considered it tremendous

I look ahead to more innovative postings like this one. Does your website have a subscription I can subscribe to for anymore information from you?

Thanks! You could simply put my blog on your favorites list or you can subscribe using the RSS tab.

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