Magazine January 28, 2019, Issue

Solzhenitsyn in Exile

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in 1974 (Wikimedia Commons)
Between Two Millstones, Book 1: Sketches of Exile, 1974–1978, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Notre Dame University Press, 480 pp., $35)

It is hard today even to conceive of the glory that surrounded the novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in the first days of his exile from the Soviet Union in 1974. There was something 19th-century about it, reminiscent of an era when writers, more than politicians or entertainers, set the civilizational tone. Solzhenitsyn was walking alone one day on a wooded mountain path outside of Zurich when he encountered a very old Swiss man. “He was astonished to see me,” Solzhenitsyn later recalled, “came up to me and with both hands took me by the elbow, looked at me with emotion, and

Christopher Caldwell — Mr. Caldwell is a contributing editor of the Claremont Review of Books and the author of The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties

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