Yesterday, while the power was out, I finished re-reading One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Like most of you know, it's a novel that follows the struggles of a convict at a forced labor camp in the Soviet gulag system of the 1950s. Solzhenitsyn first published the novel in the Moscow literary journal Novy Mir (New World) in 1962, about nine years after Stalin's death. Though the Soviet Union went through a period of "de-Stalinization" after the dictator died, cultural repression was still tight in the early 60s; censorship, unemployment, and imprisonment was a threat to authors critical of Soviet ideology. Solzhenitsyn snuck his novel past censors by writing it in the received Soviet Realist style - making it difficult for critics to find fault in the story's telling, even as its content exposed the brutality of the gulag, thereby undermining the legitimacy of the system itself. (It's also a thrilling read, well plotted and paced, which never hurts.) Whenever I hear a contemporary author praised by the mainstream media as "brave" for "tackling" some fashionable injustice, I think back to the dangers that Solzhenitsyn faced. There's no comparison. Who are the authors risking unemployment, blackballing, and social media censure for speaking out against the ideology of our culture? They must exist - but I suspect even naming them would get us in trouble.