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"The general concept of this novel," the author has written, "came to my mind in 1936, when I was just leaving secondary school. Since then I have never parted from it, regarding it as the chief artistic design of my life." He has also said he considers the previous books he has published minor to this--"a result of the oddities of my life story..."
AUGUST 1914, the first part of this major work, is set at the outbreak of the First World War, and its moral concern is to establish the responsibility for Russia's defeat in the battle of Tannenberg. Limiting itself to the opening two weeks of the war, the novel describes the Russian offensive into East Prussia, which resulted in the encirclement and defeat of General Samsonov's Second Army by Hindenburg. This disaster revealed the dry rot at the core of Tsarism and hastened its downfall.
The main theme is filled out by a great cross-section of characters, both fictitious and historic, from every walk of Russian life. The fictional character of Colonel Vorotyntsev, an enlightened and ironic young staff officer who mixes with the soldiers as much as with generals, provides a link between the various elements in the story. Solzhenitsyn gives a sympathetic portrait of Samsonov as the victim of staff blunders and personality clashes, and there is a moving description of his suicide in defeat.
AUGUST 1914 is a triumph of historical reconstruction as well as of the creative imagination. In the final chapter, it is clear that the guilty will escape through their influence at court, that Russia's military humiliation is only a symptom of the deeper shame of the Tsarists system, and that a new Russia will somehow have to be born. The novel glows with the author's love of his country and with his deep concern for ordinary men and women.
It's first publication in English, in an excellent translation by Michael Glenny, is a literary event of world-wide importance.
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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born in 1918, received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970, and was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974. Until 1994, when he returned to Russia, he lived and worked in Vermont, primarily on The Red Wheel.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian
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Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0374106843. Seller Inventory # G7-620Y
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1972. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0374106843
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1972. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # MB000MZ30E6
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1972. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0374106843
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1972. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110374106843
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-0374106843
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1972. Hardcover. Condition: New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0374106843n
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, N.Y., USA, 1972. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First Edition, First Printing stated, with correct number line sequence, no writing, marks, underlining, or bookplates. No remainder marks. Spine is tight and crisp. Boards are flat and true and the corners are square. Dust jacket is not price-clipped. This collectible, " NEW" condition first edition/first printing copy is protected with a polyester archival dust jacket cover. Beautiful collectible copy. Very scarce in perfect condition! GIFT QUALITY. Seller Inventory # 005206