Magazine June 25, 2018, Issue

My Harvard Speech in Retrospect

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. (Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images)
Solzhenitsyn’s reflections on his critics

In the winter of 1978 an invitation to give a commencement speech at Harvard suddenly arrived. Of course I could have declined, as I had done in 1975, and with hundreds of other invitations. But Harvard is a place of significance, and my speech would be heard throughout America. I had not given a speech in two years, and my temperament was pushing me once again to speak out. So I accepted the invitation.

When I began to prepare my speech in the spring, I found that, beyond my aversion to eternal repetition, I could not and did not want to

In This Issue

Articles

Features

World

Dictator Lit

A fair number of books can be counted a disgrace to literature. But only a special type of book stands as an embarrassment to printing.

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

The Week

The Week

Tensions are high, conflict threatens to flare up, but let’s hope the situation between the White House and the Philadelphia Eagles can be resolved peacefully.
Athwart

Fair as Feck

To remind her audience that they were good people and so that they could applaud her bravery, Samantha Bee called the president’s daughter a “feckless c***.”