Author(s): Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Russian Nobelist's major work, back in print for the centenary of World War I and the Russian Revolution
In his monumental narrative of the outbreak of the First World War and the ill-fated Russian offensive into East Prussia, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has written "a dramatically new interpretation of Russian history" (Nina Krushcheva, The Nation).
The assassination of the tsarist prime minister Pyotr Stolypin, a crucial event in the years leading up to the Revolution of 1917, is reconstructed from the alienating viewpoints of historical witnesses. The sole voice of reason among the advisers to Tsar Nikolai II, Stolypin died at the hands of the anarchist Mordko Bogrov, and with him Russia's last hope for reform perished.
August 1914 is the first volume of Solzhenitsyn's epic, The Red Wheel; the second is November 1916. Each volume concentrates on a critical moment or "knot" in the history of the Russian Revolution.
An epic war story from Solzhenitsyn - the great 20th century Russian writer who served eight years in the labour camps for his work
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born in 1918 and grew up in Rostov-on-Don. He graduated in physics and mathematics from Rostov University and studied literature by correspondence course at Moscow University. In World War Two he fought as an artillery officer, attaining the rank of captain. In 1945, however, after making derogatory remarks about Stalin in a letter, he was arrested and summarily sentenced to eight years in forced labour camps, followed by internal exile. In 1957 he was formally rehabilitated, and settled down to teaching and writing, in Ryazan and Moscow. The publication of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in Novy Mir in 1962 was followed by the publication, in the West, of his novels Cancer Ward and The First Circle. In 1970 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and in 1974 his citizenship was revoked and he was expelled from the Soviet Union. He settled in Vermont, USA, and worked on his great historical cycle 'The Red Wheel' of which August 1914 is the first volume. In 1990, with the fall of Soviet Communism, his citizenship was restored, and four years later, he returned to settle in Russia. He died in 2008 near Moscow, at the age of eighty-nine.