Between Two Millstones, Book 1: Sketches of Exile, 1974-1978

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Product Details
$35.00  $32.55
University of Notre Dame Press
Publish Date
7.03 X 9.41 X 1.6 inches | 1.81 pounds

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About the Author

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), Nobel Prize laureate in literature, was a Soviet political prisoner from 1945 to 1953. His story One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962) made him famous, and The Gulag Archipelago (1973) further unmasked Communism and played a critical role in its eventual defeat. Solzhenitsyn was exiled to the West in 1974. He ultimately published dozens of plays, poems, novels, and works of history, nonfiction, and memoir, including In the First Circle, Cancer Ward, The Red Wheel, The Oak and the Calf, and Between Two Millstones, Book 2: Exile in America, 1978-1994 (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020).

Peter Constantine is a literary translator and editor, and the director of the Literary Translation Program at the University of Connecticut.

Daniel J. Mahoney holds the Augustine Chair in Distinguished Scholarship at Assumption College.


"We can be thankful to the University of Notre Dame Press for publishing, late last year, Between Two Millstones, Book I: Sketches of Exile, 1974-1978, translated by Peter Constantine and with an introduction by the Solzhenitsyn scholar Daniel J. Mahoney. . . . Between Two Millstones is an entirely different category. While March 1917 is a crucial episode in the work that Solzhenitsyn relentlessly devoted himself to for decades of research and writing, the former is much more causal--not a journal, precisely, but full of incident." --First Things

"[Solzhenitsyn] was a polymath, an able scientist, and mathematician who devoured literature in many languages. . . . For readers who seek to understand one of the pivotal geniuses of the 20th century, Between Two Millstones is a treasure." --Claremont Review of Books

"Constantine's formidable translation of the first volume of Solzhenitsyn's memoir is a birth-centennial tribute to the great Russian writer. . . . This memoir is a timely and propitious antidote to the current perplexing world situation, which is marked by the rise of neo-Nazism, international wars, criminal activities on the part of governments, and callous disregard for the law and constitutional traditions." --Choice

"[Solzhenitsyn] is a writer with a necessarily solitary occupation, yet he is put upon by outside forces that feel to him as inexorable as Soviet oppression. . . . This will be enjoyed by serious readers of this author." --San Francisco Book Review

"Between Two Milestones is a testament not only to the courage and clear-sightedness of Solzhenitsyn but also to the evils of the Soviet Union and the pathologies that still plague the West. . . . Insightful, surprisingly humorous at places, and always focused on those things that make life work living--family, God, culture, and one's own country--Between Two Milestones illuminates the struggles one faces when living in the West and what one can make of it in this free but empty civilization." --Voegelin View

"Solzhenitsyn remained a Russian patriot. His literary mission was the restoration of his homeland to a condition of liberty and flourishing that Leninist-Stalinism destroyed. This is the ultimate truth of the recently released English edition of Book 1 of Between Two Millstones, which is Solzhenitsyn's account of his forced exile in the West in 1974." --Law & Liberty

". . . we must be grateful for these sketches and the insight into the times that they offer, as well as the all-too-rare and occasional glimpses of the lovable man behind the publicly impenetrable mask." --Chronicles

"Between Two Millstones is the name of the autobiography that picks up where The Oak and the Calf left off. . . . Published in Russian periodicals in the late 1990s and now translated into English, the book charts a striking transformation in how Western readers saw Solzhenitsyn, and how he, in turn, saw himself." --National Review

"An engaging tale of Solzhenitsyn's initial exposure to Western ways." --Rain Taxi

"Here we meet Solzhenitsyn the writer, a man searching for a quiet place to gather his thoughts, refine them, and put them on paper. . . . In this book above all others, perhaps, Solzhenitsyn shows how he subtly shifted the emphasis of Russian Orthodox Christianity toward a path of greater sobriety." --Society