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Remembering The Gulag

Lileks reminisces:

I got all three volumes from the drugstore - which should have told me something about the land in which I lived, that one could buy this work from a creaky wire rack at the drugstore - and it taught me much about the Soviet Union and the era of Stalin. After that I could never quite understand the people who viewed the US and the USSR as moral equals, or regarded our history as not only indelibly stained but uniquely so. Reading Solzhenitsyn makes it difficult to take seriously the people in this culture who insist that Dissent has been squelched. Brother, you have no idea.



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Carl Pham wrote:

The best passage I recall from Gulag is a bit where he describes a prisoner transport in which a guard is counting off prisoners by their article of conviction and sentence. The guard calls one guy whose sentence is twenty years, and, curious, asks What did you get it for? The guy replies For nothing at all!

To which the guard replies: You're lying. The sentence for nothing at all is ten years.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on August 4, 2008 6:30 AM.

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