cover image Rebuilding Russia

Rebuilding Russia

Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn. Farrar Straus Giroux, $14.95 (119pp) ISBN 978-0-374-17342-5

Solzhenitsyn's outspoken anticommunist manifesto is a historic document. This prescient essay, written in 1990, urges Russia to divest itself of the non-Slav republics. The new ``Rus'' would consist of the Russian Federated Republic, the Ukraine, Belorussia and perhaps Kazakhstan. Solzhenitsyn ( The Gulag Archipelago ), who recently was declared innocent of treason and has plans to return to his home country after 18 years of exile, criticizes Gorbachev's tepid pre-coup reforms, calls for the dismantling of the KGB and says the government should encourage private enterprise, with legal limits placed on the concentration of capital. He envisages a decentralized economy clustered around 40 cities with local self-government, and ``built from the bottom up.'' Open presidential elections would be held every five or seven years. Railing against the ``self-indulgent, squalid'' popular culture imported from the West, Solzhenitsyn aims for ``the spiritual and physical salvation of our people.'' (Nov.)