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An epic war story from Solzhenitsyn - the great 20th century Russian writer who served eight years in the labour camps for his work

‘One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world’ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

In the first month of the First World War the Russian campaign against the Germans creaks into gear. Crippled by weak, indecisive leadership the Russian troops battle desperately, even as the inevitability of failure and their own sacrifice dawns. Solzhenitsyn’s astounding work of historical fiction is a portrait of pre-revolutionary Russia, a tragic war story, and an epic novel in the great Russian tradition.


One of the greatest and most influential writers of the 20th century

Washington Post

It is written in anger yet with understanding, in scorn yet with compassion. Its characters are universal and timeless. A great book. Read it for an understanding of the human condition in time of war and defeat

James Callaghan, Guardian

There is a magnificence about it; not in the writing…but in the determination to make the reader understand that here was a nation careening into a century more tragic for it than any has been for any nation ever

Scotland on Sunday

Solzhenitsyn's life…spanned all the decades of Soviet history, and his moral authority is unique among his generation


The great dissident's massive historical novel


Alexander Solzhenitsyn was one of those exceptional figures who had a message, a story to tell. Domineering and self-righteous, he was none the less a remarkable human being: a visionary, a crusader in the simplest sense, who was steered in his writing, as in his actions, by a deep sense of justice

Daily Telegraph

It has been compared, at least in its sweep and intentions, with Tolstoy's War and Peace

New York Times

Solzhenitsyn will be remembered in the short-term as the bard of the Gulag, a fearless tribune who exercised a crucial liberating influence at a decisive moment in Soviet history, but in the context of the ages, his works will be read so long as readers thirst for the truth about life on this planet


At his best, his writing stands comparison with Dostoevsky, and even when it does not…it has a purpose and ethical force that come from deep within him, honed in the gulags during long years staring at man's inhumanity to man straight in the face


Not only a great writer but also one who was passionately committed, believing it to be his moral duty, in the face of systematic totalitarian obfuscation, to record Russia's 20th-century experience for posterity

Daily Telegraph

As deeply opposed to rampant, materialistic capitalism as he was to totalitarian, atheistic communism, Alexander Solzhenitsyn will never be forgotten by historians, writer, readers, or ethicists

The Age

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    October 1, 2014

    Vintage Classics

    832 pages

    RRP $24.99

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  • EBook


    August 7, 2014

    Vintage Digital

    832 pages

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