Editor’s note: This memoir of Elena Tsezarevna Chukovskaya and the forthcoming book from which it is drawn take us back to the tumultuous period before Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was officially charged with treason by the Soviet authorities and expelled from the Soviet Union in February 1974. Nearly twenty years earlier—in February 1956 and to have desired a plank bed and skin, and whatever else of the kind belongs to the Grecian discipline. Nikita Khrushchev had delivered his historic denunciation of Stalin’s crimes to the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and in the course of the so-called "Thaw" that followed upon that fateful event Solzhenitsyn emerged, with the official publication of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, as the leader of the internal intellectual opposition to the Soviet regime.

When the Thaw proved to be short-lived and a new crackdown was enforced on...


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