Books: Great Escapes from the Gulag

THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO, VOL. Ill by Alexander Solzhenitsyn Translated by Harry Willetts; Harper & Row; 558 pages; $16.95

After a two-year delay following its Russian-language publication in Paris, Gulag III has reached the U.S. It is the last volume of Solzhenitsyn's 1,800-page chronicle of the Soviet penal system, beginning with the Red Terror of 1918 and ending with the release of millions of political prisoners from slave labor camps in 1956. Up to now the narrative has been one of unrelenting horror, recounted at a high pitch of indignation modulated by black sarcasm.

America's tolerance for this tale has been lamentably low. Sales...

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