Summary[ edit ] In the first volume, Solzhenitsyn discusses the history of Russians and the , Jews that came under Russian control between and the revolution of He asserts that the anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire were not government-sponsored but spontaneous acts of violence, except for some government culpability in the Pale of Settlement. Solzhenitsyn says that life for Russian Jews was hard but no harder than life for Russian peasants. At the end of chapter nine, Solzhenitsyn denounces "the superstitious faith in the historical potency of conspiracies" that leads some to blame the Russian revolutions on the Jews and to ignore the "Russian failings that determined our sad historical decline.
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If you are interested in reading a comprehensive history of the Jews in Russia, then this is the book for you. Only those interested in straw-manning his writing will find that "proof" here. This was an enormous body of work. Solzhenitsyn is recounting history here. That some will be offended by historical fact is almost certain. He addresses this backlash in the latter part of the book: " Well, there is a Russian proverb: do not love the agreeable; love the disputers.
I invite all, including Jews, to abandon this fear of bluntness, to stop perceiving honesty as hostility. We must abandon it historically! Abandon it forever! And at no time do I feel that in doing so it is being hostile to the Jews.
I have written more sympathetically than many Jews write about Russians. With this book, I want to extend a handshake of understanding — for all our future. But we must do so mutually! This interweaving of Jewish and Russian destinies since the 18th century which has so explosively manifested itself in the 20th century, has a profound historical meaning, and we should not lose it in the future.
Here, perhaps, lies the Divine Intent which we must strive to unravel — to discern its mystery and to do what must be done. And it seems obvious that to know the truth about our shared past is a moral imperative for Jews and Russians alike.
Much of the controversy around his book has to do with his writing of the Jewish role in the October Revolution. Despite what some might believe from the controversial reputation this book has garnered, Solzhenitsyn writes in a very balanced way; covering historical facts in a matter-of-fact manner. I have chosen a few quotes where he talks about the role of Jews in the Revolution, and Bolshevism: " Yes, it was perfectly unreasonable, on the part of the Jews, to join the revolutionary movement, which had ruined the course of normal life in Russia and, consequently, that of the Jews of Russia.
Finally! A Complete English Version of Solzhenitsyn’s 200 Years Together
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 200 Years Together
Two Hundred Years Together