Solzhenitsyn's polemical speeches - a primer for understanding the moral, political vision of the Nobel prize winner
‘Can one part of humanity learn from the bitter experience of another or can it not?
Is it possible or impossible to warn someone of danger...to assess soberly the worldwide menace that threatens to swallow the whole world?
I was swallowed myself. I have been in the dragon’s belly, in its red-hot innards. It was unable to digest me and threw me up. I have come to you as a witness to what it is like there, in the dragon’s belly’
During 1975 and 1976, Nobel Prize-winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn embarked on a series of speeches across America and Britain that would shock and scandalise both countries. His message: the West was veering towards moral and spiritual bankruptcy, and with it the world’s one hope against tyranny and totalitarianism.
From Solzhenitsyn’s warnings about the allure of communism, to his rebuke that the West should not abandon its age-old concepts of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, the speeches collected in Warning to the West provide insight into Solzhenitsyn’s uncompromising moral vision. Read today, their message remains as powerfully urgent as when Solzhenitsyn first delivered them.
“When we look back at the 20th century, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn will be remembered not just as an influential author, but as one of the few authors who actually altered the way in which millions of people thought about politics... Solzhenitsyn stood out, even among an exceptional generation of Russian dissidents and writers, for his extraordinary commitment to truth-telling”