Russia presents a puzzle for Americans. It is simultaneously a country with a turbulent past and a country respected for its contributions to literature and culture more broadly.
So, how do we understand this vast country? How do we reconcile the Moscow Ballet and the brightly colored buildings of Vladivostok with stories of the gulag and the invasion of Ukraine?
Solzhenitsyn and American Culture: The Russian Soul in the West provides a starting point for addressing these complex questions by pushing readers to deepen their understanding of the relationship between American culture and Russian literature, specifically the work of literary giant Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who was deeply critical of both the Soviet Union and the consumerist impulses he saw in Europe and the United States.
The essays in this volume remind readers of what we have in common with the people of Russia, pushing us to reconsider what we can and have learned from Russian culture and history. As Religion and Liberty stated, “The lesson that students should draw from the study of Solzhenitsyn’s works, and his great soul, is to resist the temptation of thinking that the demonic forces of famine, imprisonment, and mass murder in Russia could never happen in America or in the West.”
The new paperback edition will be available for purchase on our website starting July 15th.
Editors: David P. Deavel is an associate professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas, Houston, and editor of LOGOS: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture. Jessica Hooten Wilson is the Seaver College Scholar of Liberal Arts at Pepperdine University. She is the author of a number of books, including The Scandal of Holiness.
Other Contributors: Nathan Nielson, Eugene Vodolazkin, David Walsh, Matthew Lee Miller, Ralph C. Wood, Gary Saul Morson, Edward E. Ericson, Jr., Micah Mattix, Joseph Pearce, James F. Pontuso, Daniel J. Mahoney, William Jason Wallace, Lee Trepanier, Peter Leithart, Dale Peterson, Julianna Leachman, Walter G. Moss, and Jacob Howland.
• Read An Excerpt from “Solzhenitsyn and American Culture,” edited by David P. Deavel and Jessica Hooten Wilson on our blog.
• Read An Interview with Jessica Hooten Wilson, co-editor of “Solzhenitsyn and American Culture” on our blog.
• Watch “Solzhenitsyn and American Culture” with Jessica Hooten Wilson, David P. Deavel, and Matthew Miller on YouTube.