Will the Russian and Jewish nations ever achieve true reconciliation? Why is there such disparity in the interpretations of Russo-Jewish history? These questions are part of a greater whole—Russia’s perpetual Jewish Question. This historically thorny subject has been the focus of Nobel Laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn for the last ten years, culminating in a publication that will be among his final literary offerings. Entitled Two Hundred Years Together, the work seeks to elucidate Judeo-Russian relations as well as promote mutual healing between the two nationalities. But the polarized reception of Solzhenitsyn’s work has reflected the passionate sentiments of Jews and Russians alike. Having yet no English translation, the work has received less than its due readership. Notwithstanding, Two Hundred Years Together addresses a vital question of history.
As a writer, political thinker, and religious voice, Solzhenitsyn symbolizes Russia’s historically ambivalent relationship vis-à-vis the Jewish nation. He, like his countrymen, harbors both admiration for and apprehension about Judaism in post-Soviet Russia. To explore the multifaceted Russo-Jewish Question, this book examines Two Hundred Years Together within the context of anti-Semitism, nationalism, Russian literature, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s prolific, influential life.