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The Gulag Syllabus

Right, so here goes a weird one.  Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s book The Gulag Archipelago will be made required reading for school children:

According to the state-run news agency RIA Novosti, the Education Ministry on Wednesday ordered that passages from the book become required reading in order to deepen students’ understanding of Russia’s history. A ministry spokesman did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

This seems quite odd in light of the other more politically controversial history textbooks being put into Russian schools, or potentially conflicting with the return of thought police at the history commission.  Then again, Solzhenitsyn was a dedicated Putin supporter in his fading years, so as long as passages are reflected which don’t cause students to think about contemporary cases – say, the show trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky – I guess everything should continue as normal.