The Gulag Archipelago Quotes

21 of the best book quotes from The Gulag Archipelago
  1. #1
    “Nothing is easier than stamping your foot and shouting: ‘That’s mine!’ It is immeasurably harder to proclaim: ‘You may live as you please.’ ”
  2. #2
    “Shall we sum up the whole history of Russia in a single phrase? It is the land of smothered opportunities.”
  3. #3
    “Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty. ”
  4. #4
    “Political genius lies in extracting success even from the people’s ruin.”
  5. #5
    “No, the old proverb does not lie: Look for the brave in prison, and the stupid among the political leaders! ”
  6. #6
    “We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation. ”
  7. #7
    “If only it were so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? ”
  1. #8
    “To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good, or else that it’s a well-considered act in conformity with natural law. Fortunately, it is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions. ”
  2. #9
    “One thing is absolutely definite: not everything that enters our ears penetrates our consciousness. Anything too far out of tune with our attitude is lost, either in the ears themselves or somewhere beyond, but it is lost.”
  3. #10
    “You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”
  4. #11
    “And now the rule of your life is this: Do not rejoice when you have found, do not weep when you have lost. ”
  5. #12
    “It’s a universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”
  6. #13
    “Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career.”
  7. #14
    “No human being can know the future. The greatest of disasters may overtake a man in the best of places, and the greatest happiness may seek him out in the worst. ”

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  1. #15
    “Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.”
  2. #16
    “Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an un uprooted small corner of evil.”
  3. #17
    “Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.”
  4. #18
    “You only have power over people as long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power—he’s free again.”
  5. #19
    “Live with a steady superiority over life -don’t be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn for happiness; it is, after all, all the same: the bitter doesn’t last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.”
  6. #20
    “Live with a steady superiority over life -don’t be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn for happiness; it is, after all, all the same: the bitter doesn’t last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.”
  7. #21
    “Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub your eyes and purify your heart -and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or scold them, and never part from any of them in anger; after all, you simply do not know: it may be your last act before your arrest, and that will be how you are imprinted on their memory.”
Book Topics › freedom
Children's Books About Freedom