First EditionSolzhenitsyn, Aleksandr. Solzhenitsyn’s Uncorrected Proof of The Gulag Archipelago. New York, 1974, 640 separate unbound and folded one sided sheets, as issued, each sheet has 2 pages on a 6.5” x 22” sheet with large blank bottom margin. A massive work that detailed the machinations of the Soviet police state from the time of the Bolshevik Revolution. The book is an account of the forced labor camps, and soviet purges. Solzhenitsyn drew on his own experiences as a prisoner there, and on diaries, interviews and research. The work had an immediate profound effect and helped bring down the Soviet empire. This predates the first English edition.
In USSR the possession of the manuscript of The Gulag Archipelago: would come with the risk of a long prison sentence for "anti-Soviet activities". In 1973 the KGB seized one of only three existing copies of the text still on Soviet soil. The KGB interrogated Elizaveta Voronyanskaya, one of Solzhenitsyn's trusted typists who knew where the typed copy was hidden; within days of her release by the KGB, she hanged herself. Although he had earlier wanted it published in Russia first, after Solzhenitsyn learned of her death, he decided to allow its publication in the West. Offered here is the very rare Uncorrected Proof of the First American edition, New York: Harper & Row Publishers, (1974). The first English translation was done by Thomas Whitney and first published by Harper & Row in 1974 in hardcover. This is the Uncorrected Proof that predates that first edition and is 640 pages; including an extensive glossary and index. Each page of the Proof is on a large 6.5” x 22” sheet with the words “Blank 80 and slide number..” on top of every page. This information was for the printer set up on the linotype machines of the early 70’s. The 640 pages are unbound and folded with a few hundred extra blank pages in the center so the fold does not damage any page with text. It is an impressive very thick proof of one of the most consequential books of the 20th century. It was reported in the New York times in 1974, that changes directed by Solzhenitsyn after he was expelled from the Soviet Union, and by his english translator delayed the project by a month and apparently also added 20 pages with the final trade edition being 660 pages. The cover has a page taped on with the Harper & Row Publishers NY letterhead and states “Important this is an Uncorrected proof - Title: The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956, Author: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn's, Probable publication date of June 24, 1974. Approximate length 672 pages. “ There is a tear across this tapped page of information sheet. But the sheets of the Proof itself are in very good condition. An extremely rare early format. The GULAG ARCHIPELAGO, Novelist Doris Lessing said that the book "brought down an empire" while the American diplomat George F. Kennan, said that the book was “the most powerful single indictment of a political regime ever to be levied in modern times.”.