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August 1914 This is Solzhenitsyn s counter to Tolstoy s view of history Actually, it s a counter to everything Tolstoy believed Solzhenitsyn arranges his philosophy of history around a series of nodes or knots that describe the fall of Russia Particularly fine is his brutal, yet fair and realistic critique of both liberalism and blind monarchism How do I know he is being fair If you can find yourself in the critique and say Ouch, then you know he is being fair to all sides.Both liberals and Russi This is Solzhenitsyn s counter to Tolstoy s view of history Actually, it s a counter to everything Tolstoy believed Solzhenitsyn arranges his philosophy of history around a series of nodes or knots that describe the fall of Russia Particularly fine is his brutal, yet fair and realistic critique of both liberalism and blind monarchism How do I know he is being fair If you can find yourself in the critique and say Ouch, then you know he is being fair to all sides.Both liberals and Russian monarchists today think Solzhenitsyn was a pure Russian nationalist He might have been in his private life, but that doesn t come through in his writings He is very critical of the Tsar and in other writings e.g., The Russian Question he thinks every war Russia fought was a bad idea.And his take on the Jews isbalanced than people on either side realize He mocks the anti Jewish attitude of conservative Russians just before the Revolution One of the characters had the name Isaaki named after St Isaac , so the University thought he was Jewish and wouldn t let him in He proved he wasn t Jewish and then realized, His acceptance rested on his having proved that he did not belong to the nation through which Christ had come into the world Solzhenitsyn 20.Solzhenitsyn is aware of the existential danger that Russia faced, and not just from Satanists like Lenin Russia had lost two big wars, Crimea and Japan She could not afford another loss 112 Even worse, Russia had failed to listen to Dostoevsky and form an eternal alliance with Germany Such would have protected her against the Bolsheviks and forever doomed the British banking clans Neither scenario, however, would be realized Russia was doomed before the war began.What Russia Should have Done1 Tell France to go pound sand.2 Expand the invasion of East Prussia beyond the Maurian lakes Amputate the whole thing 208.3 Following Dostoevsky s instructions, Russia should have formed an eternal alliance with Germany 114 Indeed, peace between Germany and Russia was far preferable to this disastrous alliance with those circus artistes from Paris 348.Nota Bene a German General Hermann von Francois was of Huguenot descent 214.b It was one of those moments in war when time contracts to an explosion, when action must be instantaneous and nothing can be put off 191.c There is a fun scene where an old man finds out that Sanya and Kotya are Tolstoyan and Hegelian, respectively 399 401 As someone who used to be a pure Hegelian, I enjoyed this part It also reveals that a Hegelian affirms the existence of the state This means a Hegelian can t be a Marxist It s important to make this basic distinction, otherwise conservatives come off as conceptually inept.The whole section is a wonderful critique of ideology We shouldn t impose a government from top down as a way to fix society 409 Rather, the people of a country should focus on developing its soul An example of this is the misguided attempt to make the world safe for democracy That is the essence of Revolution and Bolshevism.d One is often struck by the similarities of the Russian intelligentsia and the Woke Americans of today Both sneer at the idea of a nation s history Indeed, both sneer at the idea of nations Both are socialistic Some characters in the book are accused of being part of the Black Hundreds, an ultra nationalist and probably xenophobic paramilitary group in Russia If someone is a patriot, then he is a Black Hundred by definition It s similar to today when anyone who loves America is an evil nationalist and probably a member of the KKK.That s another lesson today s conservatives should learn from Solzhenitsyn Revolutionary socialists want you dead You cannot reason with them You cannot tell them No, I am not a racist or They are only waiting to line you up against the wall A new adaptation for radio of Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn s epic story of the first battle of the Eastern Front in 1914 which was a disaster for Russia Solzhenitsyn s book was published in the West one year after he won the prize with sections about Lenin omitted It was only after his expulsion from the USSR that the complete book was available This new production is narrated by Fiona Shaw.In August 1914, Colonel Vorotynts A new adaptation for radio of Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn s epic story of the first battle of the Eastern Front in 1914 which was a disaster for Russia Solzhenitsyn s book was published in the West one year after he won the prize with sections about Lenin omitted It was only after his expulsion from the USSR that the complete book was available This new production is narrated by Fiona Shaw.In August 1914, Colonel Vorotyntsev advances into East Prussia in search of the elusive front line As he encounters the truth about the German war machine his military ideals rapidly tarnish and he must decide whether to volunteer his men for certain death or retreat At the outbreak of the First World War, the Russian advance met with catastrophic results Bungled orders, poor and insufficient supplies, out dated equipment and tactics, and deliberate misinformation resulted in chaos and the near annihiliation of the army at the hands of the Germans Three years later the tsarist regime fell as Lenin led the October Revolution.Your average Russian Boris is still being fed daily doses of misinformation, and hazard to guess that should a war footing be declared, they would fare no better next time around For that very reason, this book is still relevent today Current misinformation comes no fouler than out of the mouth of a certain Vladimir Medinsky Medinsky is so keen to demonstrate Russia s superiority to other nations that he has even said that Russia s perseverance in the face of all twentieth century catastrophes, indicates that our people have an extra chromosomeSource I cannot believe that the Russian population is blanket Down s SyndromeTake a moment to think about those who have lost their lives so senselessly.Narrator Fiona ShawVorotyntsev Alex WaldmannSamsonov Michael BertenshawArseni Sion PritchardSasha Lenartovich Mark Edel HuntYaroslav Kharitonov Will HowardLenin Clive HaywardGrokholets Robert PughFilimonov Sam DaleKrymov Simon ArmstrongOfrosimov Matthew WatsonArtamonov David CannTanya Melangell DolmaKramchatkin Chris GordonLuntsov Sion IfanAgafon Alex Hope5 The First Circle3 One DayThe Gulag Archipelago 1918 1956 Left unrated for a reason3 Cancer Ward 3 August 19144 We Never Make Mistakes Two Short Novels In his monumental narrative of the outbreak of the First World War and the ill fated Russian offensive into East Prussia, Solzhenitsyn has written what Nina Krushcheva, in The Nation, calls a dramatically new interpretation of Russian history The assassination of tsarist prime minister Pyotr Stolypin, a crucial event in the years leading up to the Revolution of , is August 1914 is a monumental work, part history, part historical fiction, part a detailed account of the battle of Tannenberg 26 August 30 August 1914 with fictional elements interwoven, including mini biographies and accounts of key elements and episodes of Russian history in the years leading up to World War I In reading the book I sometimes wondered Is this fiction or factIt s wasn t always possible to decide at least with my limited knowledge But eventually I concluded that obviously August 1914 is a monumental work, part history, part historical fiction, part a detailed account of the battle of Tannenberg 26 August 30 August 1914 with fictional elements interwoven, including mini biographies and accounts of key elements and episodes of Russian history in the years leading up to World War I In reading the book I sometimes wondered Is this fiction or factIt s wasn t always possible to decide at least with my limited knowledge But eventually I concluded that obviously significant historical episodes, and the biographical information of the main non fictional characters are as accurate as could be desired The back of the book contains an index of names, so that when a character is mentioned, one can always check this list to see if this was a real living person In most cases certainly the minor characters they are There s also a useful map back there.Some of the high points for me Chapters 10 21 are a masterful depiction of the total ineptitude of the Russian GHQ, and the appalling chaos that resulted as the Russian First and Second Armies attempted to join battle with the German Eighth Army.Chapter 22 relates the activities of Lenin in the years leading up to the war And then The War A joyful inspiration took place in his dynamic mind TRANSFORM THIS WAR INTO CIVIL WAR And this war, this war will bring all the governments of Europe down in ruins He stood by the parapet, looking down on the square with his hands raised, as though he had taken his place for a speech but was not quite ready to begin.Daily, hourly, wherever you may be, protest angrily and uncompromisingly against the war But the dialectic essence of the situation But will it to continue See that it does not stop short That it drags on and is transformed A war like this one must not be fumbled, must not be wasted.Such a war is a gift from history Chapter 25 has a hilarious section, Russian eccentricities as seen by the Germans.A couple of the chapters towards the end get immensely long Chapter 65 Pyotr Arkadievich Stolypin , over 70 pages and Chapter 74, which mixes some of the main fictional characters into history, 100 pages But not boring at all, at least for me.A book that needs to be read by a fan of Solzhenistsyn, or a reader with an interest in the events in Russia in that fateful first 20 years of the last century Previous review Public Power in the Age of EmpireNext review 2018 on GoodreadsOlder review Far From the Madding CrowdPrevious library review Life and FateNext library review Immortality Ever wanted to smack someone in the face because of their insistent incompetency and blatant disregard for others just because of their own self interests Then you re going to have a lot of sympathy for the Russian soldiers who lost their lives in Russia s opening campaign in World War I As always, typical Russian Solzhenitsyn epic, wide array of characters caught up in something bigger than them with each having different opinions on religion, politics, and society Not as great as Cancer W Ever wanted to smack someone in the face because of their insistent incompetency and blatant disregard for others just because of their own self interests Then you re going to have a lot of sympathy for the Russian soldiers who lost their lives in Russia s opening campaign in World War I As always, typical Russian Solzhenitsyn epic, wide array of characters caught up in something bigger than them with each having different opinions on religion, politics, and society Not as great as Cancer Ward or In The First Circle, but definitely a text of great value if not for its historical referencing alone.As others have noted, if you re not a big buff for World War I history, this may not be for you, as this was not written solely for a pretty little story for the reader to be able to fully appreciate without any background knowledge or willingness to look things up while reading the book.If you re going to check this out, please check out some of the other works Solzhenitsyn has on offer, as his writing style is unique and some may not be so familiar with his ability of wittily critiquing some of the most serious topics, or the almost consistent debating of aforementioned topics throughout a nearly 900 page novel The book itself is big not speaking in terms of page numbers , with the text being relatively small, but as usual, the majority of readers will just read the abridged version and be under the delusion that they ve read the same book 2.5 5On a purely literary merit it is a big and tiresome slog It is designed to be 10 volumes chronicles devoted to the events which has lead to the Revolution of 1917 So the parts about the fictional characters are alternated by the parts about real historic figures and events The construction is complex and really awkward Initially the fictional parts were relatively lively with interesting set of characters and several story lines But the gaps between dropping a particular line and comi 2.5 5On a purely literary merit it is a big and tiresome slog It is designed to be 10 volumes chronicles devoted to the events which has lead to the Revolution of 1917 So the parts about the fictional characters are alternated by the parts about real historic figures and events The construction is complex and really awkward Initially the fictional parts were relatively lively with interesting set of characters and several story lines But the gaps between dropping a particular line and coming back to it are too big to emphasise with the characters So i stopped caring about the fictional parts.The historical chronicle is meticulously detailed and relatively slow moving His method is to pick a historical event or a figure and drill so dip that it becomes overwhelming after a while This book is devoted to two main themes the beginning of the First World War from the perspective of the Russian front the personality and the achievements of Pietr Stolypin, the Russian Prime Minister and strong leader, who was assassinated in the Kiev Opera in 1911 by a terrorist at the same time the informer of the police , Merdco Bogrov Those two historical figures are juxtaposed to each other for obvious reasons But if Stolypin s life seems to be based on numerous sources, Bogrov s life and his motivation seems to be presented infictional way it is unclear how Solzhenitsyn has compiled it Solzhenitsyn presents him as a lonely, evil revolutionary who wanted to outsmart everyone including the Okhrana and succeeded While for me, with the hindsight of another century, it seemslikely that he was the hand of the state secret service There is a little episode about Lenin travelling to Zurich and this one isreadable That is the only reason why I would try to read the second instalment of these chronicles However, if one even manage to ignore monarchist, nationalist ideology Russia is unique country in which democracy should be very different from the Western one sounds familiar isn t it which is streaming from every page, it is still not very well written book.I ve never read Solzhenitsyn before, so my view is based only upon this book I ve started the second part already November 1916 and it is going a bit easier sofar I do not think i plan to finish all 10 volumes I will finish the second book and then probably dip into the rest I read in original Russian.PSAbout the war that the part i was not particularly interested, so I might misinterpreted some details, but the general story is relatively traditionally told courageous soldiers, especially from the peasant backgrounds, treacherous, cowardly and incompetent HQ Lies at the papers I think the readers who are interested in the detailed description of the war from the Russian point of view and possess the initial knowledge on the subject, might find itinteresting than i did question whether I read this back in the day when I was reading Solzhenitsyn. This is probably my favorite book of all time Alexander Solzhenitsyn was brilliant If you don t like WWI history, this book is not for you, but it was excellent It was fiction, but centred around the campaign in Tannenburg, Prussia There wasn t much of a plot other than the campaign, though the characters made up for it, and is the first in a series of four, the last of which has not been translated into English as yet It was 622 pages, but well worth reading. I read the shorter, potentially cropped or incomplete version of this would be epic years ago It impresses through bulk and scale The set up of the initial chapters has us criss crossing European Russia introducing us to various upper class characters on the verge of World War One, Solzhenitsyn fictionalises his story to allow Lev Tolstoy to still be alive and to talk to one character he had been dead since 1910 in reality , I feel this is Solzhenitsyn shaking hands with his role model and pu I read the shorter, potentially cropped or incomplete version of this would be epic years ago It impresses through bulk and scale The set up of the initial chapters has us criss crossing European Russia introducing us to various upper class characters on the verge of World War One, Solzhenitsyn fictionalises his story to allow Lev Tolstoy to still be alive and to talk to one character he had been dead since 1910 in reality , I feel this is Solzhenitsyn shaking hands with his role model and putting on his mantel, and the early emphasis on aristocrats abandoning traditional Russian ways or planting foreign trees,using English motor cars, establishing English or Japanese gardens establishes a parallel with War and Peace the natural leaders of the country are not Russian enough and therefore doomed to a beating until they can reconnect with their roots.The novel deals with the embarrassing total defeat of a Russian army at the hands of a much smaller German force though admittedly on their home territory at the battle of Tannenberg in August 1914, for Solzhenitsyn this defeat is both a revelation and a condemnation of the state of Russia, and a harbinger of future bleaknesses to come Personally I think his vision history is unfair, although crushing defeated, the army was at least capable of offensive action and remained so for several years admittedly with massive amount of military equipment provided by the allies and the army had bee in a steady process of reform and improvement for the preceding past century, unfortunately as generally in life doing ones best is very nice but tends not to be good enough, certainly in this case not good enough to overcome the problems of underdevelopment and relative backwardness compared to Imperial Russia s western neighbours.There s not much to recommend about this book apart from the relative novelty of the subject matter to an English speaking audience But even as a first world war novel it comes across as unusually heavy handed On the whole I d recommend Dr Zhivago or Red Cavalry in preference Bought secondhand and devoured in a single overnight reading Back in the day when I could do an overnight read my rock and roll years.Re read and enjoyed a couple of times since.An excellent read.


About the Author: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn Russian was a Soviet and Russian novelist, dramatist, and historian Through his writings he helped to make the world aware of the Gulag, the Soviet Union s forced labor camp system particularly The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, two of his best known works Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970 He was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974 and returned to Russia in 1994 Solzhenitsyn was the father of Ignat Solzhenitsyn, a conductor and pianist.AKAAlexander Solzenitsyn English, alternate Greek


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