Alexander Solzhenitsyn died yesterday. His novel, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, was in fact up for consideration for the Lenin prize in 1964 during the Khruschchev period of de-Stalinization. But an unfavorable editorial in The New York Times Pravda, killed its chances. Its editorial declared the work unworthy because it failed to distinguish between “honorable and good people” in the gulag versus the “criminals and traitors,” something Pravda was always scrupulous about.
Solzhenitsyn’s works had better success with other prize committees, and he brought the acronym gulag into common parlance in the West (gulag being the brutal Soviet forced labor camps where millions of innocent people died). Which is good because sometimes Democrats get tired of accusing American soldiers of running concentration camps, and like to accuse them of running gulags instead.
For a worthy remembrance of this great Russian patriot jump here.