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A fine post and a fine recommendation, Nicodemus.

Given our remarkable blessing of being born into liberty, security, and prosperity here in the United States, it is often difficult to understand systematized terror, tyranny, and murder. Solzhenitsyn makes his readers understand such horrors not in the abstract "over there" sense, but, as you point out, in the concrete sense. He also reminds us that evil and barbarism are often much closer than we would like to think, lurking on the other side of that "thin veneer of civilization".

Might I also recommend, to instruct on a similar lesson, and to remind that tyranny extends well beyond the 20th century, Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. Like Solzhenitsyn, he of course describes another time when authoritarians claiming to represent the "will of the people" demanded much innocent blood.

We Americans have much to be thankful for in 2006.

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