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Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile [Hardcover]

By Joseph Pearce (Author)
Our Price $ 16.99  
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Item Number 145153  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   356
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.34" Width: 6.33" Height: 1.01"
Weight:   1.41 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2001
Publisher   Baker Books
ISBN  080101204X  
EAN  9780801012044  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Arguably one of the most significant writers of the twentieth century, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, according to Joseph Pearce, has too often been stereotyped as a prophet of doom, a pessimist, someone out of touch with reality, and irrelevant. Pearce sets out to challenge this typical media typecasting: Solzhenitsyn as "paradox personified: the pessimistic optimist." He shows how Solzhenitsyn's Christian faith brought him to the truth that shines so clearly in all his writing: that "creeping knowledge that human history may be little more than a long defeat in a land of exile. Yet such a defeat, however long, is rooted in time: temporal and therefore temporary." Among the features of this major new biography are exclusive personal interviews with Solzhenitsyn, previously unpublished poetry, a rare photo gallery, and a focus on the rich faith dimension of this Nobel Prize winner's life. Any new student of Solzhenitsyn should start with this book.

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More About Joseph Pearce

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Joseph Pearce is a biographer and literary researcher who resides in Norfolk, England. He is the author of several books, including Tolkien: Man and Myth, Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G. K. Chesterton, and Literary Converts.

Joseph Pearce currently resides in Norfolk.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
very good  Feb 5, 2004
Pearce's biography of A.I. Solzhenitsyn may leave off the man's rougher edges, but manages to bring to the fore the centrality of Solzhenitsyn's religious convictions. This seems to be Pearce's forte and his mission in life. In today's cultural wasteland, when nearly no one looks past their momentary needs, it is very much needed. Very edifying.
A fascinating biography of one of Russia's greatest writers  Sep 12, 2003
Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile is a fascinating look at one of the most unusual and influential writers of the late 20th Century. Marvellously written, it treks through his tumultuous life from start to finish, focusing on the interchange between Solzhenitsyn's faith and his writing and how the lifelong shaping of his beliefs is reflected in his stories and poems. Engaging from start to finish, this biography also contains 10 previously unpublished poems and a collection of 24 photographs from various periods of his life.
This book meets a real need  Jan 2, 2002
There are lengthy biographies of Solzhenitsyn by Scammell and Thomas, and specialized studies (e.g. Ericson's). Pearce's book meets the need of public and undergraduate libraries for a very readable, concise, and up-to-date biography of this controversial Nobel Prize winner. Pearce's book includes some otherwise unavailable recent material by Solzhenitsyn -- the prose poems at the end of the book -- so graduate libraries ought to have it, also.

Individuals who have read Solzhenitsyn's own autobiographical works and open letters might not need this book, but for most readers it will be a good introduction. It has the salutary effect of prompting one to go and (re)read works such as The First Circle. Pearce doesn't go into depth in discussion of Solzhenitsyn's books, but says enough to quicken interest in them.

Pearce shows affinity between Solzhenitsyn's positive ideas and those of people such as E. F. Schumacher (Small Is Beautiful). The critique of Enlightenment progressivism and positivism isn't detailed, but there's enough to remind me of writers as otherwise diverse as Phillip Sherrard (The Eclipse of Man and Nature), Russell Kirk, and the author of Ideas Have Consequences. I was also reminded a little of C. S. Lewis's prophetic novel That Hideous Strength, where Lewis presents a distinction between Britain and Logres, as I read Solzhenitsyn as quoted by Pearce, on the souls of nations. Familiarity with these writers -- who are often not known, or well known, to persons who presume to speak of their ideas -- can help one to understand where Solzhenitsyn is coming from.

Uncritical, flattering bio of a complex, uncompromising man  Aug 26, 2001
Alenandr Solzenitsyn is a man certainly worthy of full scale treatment by a biographer. DM Thomas' biography a couple of years ago was strangely unmoving,and barely mentioned Solzenitsyn's religious views, which are at the core of his beliefs. At one time.AI solzenitsyn was the darling of the right in America,a virulent anti-communist who scorned ANYTHING resembling a welfare state{his attacks on free-market capitalism was soft pedalded by these same people}.Slowly, though, he became more and more removed from the centre of attention, and his novels became more and more obscure{and ,truth be told,rambling and quite boring.The red wheel trilogy...}This Biography places solzenitsyn's religious beliefs front and centre and the core of his being{and the reason he was able to survive the hell of the gulag}. While these are quite interesting, and really have rarely been covered in the West, Solzenitsyn's disdain for the West, his dismissal of pope John Paul II during and audience,his Tsarist tendencies and his almost messianic xenonphobia are not touched{though all are of one piece.] Solzenitsyn in many ways reminds me of Gandhi{without the charm}: wanting Holy Mother Russia to rise again to her greatness without the taint of western Decadence through a spiritual revolution. While he is a moral giant and an extraordiany example of the resilience of the human spirit, he is not served well by fawning, uncritical praise. Alexandr I solzhenitsyn deserves a full ,massive critical biography covering all of his life{his return to Russia has been bittersweet,his tv show was canceled for LACK OF INTEREST.Amazing how short peoples memories are!} This is one small step in the process. Interesting,but...
Portrays a complex man of integrity and faith  Mar 16, 2001
Solzhenitsyn: A Soul In Exile is a new biography of Alexander Solzhenitsyn portraying a complex man of integrity and faith, and whose anti-materialist stance and call for a "moral revolution" are as relevant today as they were fifty years ago. Biographer Joseph Pearce reassess this influential Russian writer who gave voice to the more than sixty million victims of Soviet terror, and who won the Nobel Prize for "the ethical force" of his literary work. Even with the collapse of Communism, Solzhenitsyn continues to be an outspoken critic of Russian leadership's role in that country's economic collapse and consequent rise of lawlessness. This impressive, highly recommended biography showcases Solzhenitsyn's life and work as a courageous stand for truth rooted in Christian and moral beliefs as evidenced in his life, poetry, plays, novels, and pronouncements.

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