In an intimate memoir that whispers with the intrigue of a spy novel, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn pays tribute to the once-anonymous heroes who risked their lives to bring The Gulag Archipelago and his other works to the West during the darkest days of the Soviet Union.
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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born on December 11, 1918 in Kislovodsk in the northern Caucusus Mountains. He received a degree in physics and math from Rostov University in 1941. He served in the Russian army during World War II but was arrested in 1945 for writing a letter criticizing Stalin. He spent the next decade in prisons and labor camps and, later, exile, before being allowed to return to central Russia, where he worked as a high school science teacher. His first novel, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, was published in 1962. In 1970, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1974, he was arrested for treason and exiled following the publication of The Gulag Archipelago. He moved to Switzerland and later the U. S. where he continued to write fiction and history.