Stalin’s Russia certainly needed the conscience provided by The First Circle(1), Cancer Ward(2), and The Gulag Archipelago(3). It had been responsible for 45 to 60 million deaths. Solzhenitsyn brought to his own experience of the camps, of the Gulag, a ferocity, a rejection of the sense of moderation, and, in the words of Sakharov, anger, mournfulness, and a sardonic view that communicated the daily horrors of this history. As Thomas notes, he "knew it was his duty to embody truth" (p. 530). "A man who could write and fight with demonic energy could not also be your clubbable nice guy from next door" (p. 380). He felt he "had" to leave his wife and children to carry on his writing, 12 to 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. If "they" were to take his children as hostages it would not stop him: "Our children were no dearer to us than the memory of the millions done to death, and nothing could make us stop that book" (p. 400). After 15 minutes at the celebratory meal of his son’s christening, he left to continue his writing. Nothing was more important than his work. Not nice, but a hardworking and effective writer.