In this lecture delivered by University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson, he explores 'The Gulag Archipelago' by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (buy on Amazon or listen to the audiobook for free YouTube) making the case that it is the most important book of the twentieth century because of its vivid descriptions of the dreadful socio-political consequences of the degeneration of society into nihilism and totalitarianism, often of the most murderous sort, employing as an example the work/death camps of the Soviet Union.
Full lecture: 2016 Personality Lecture 13: Existentialism via Solzhenitsyn and the Gulag
Via Amazon: The Gulag Archipelago is Solzhenitsyn's masterwork, a vast canvas of camps, prisons, transit centres and secret police, of informers and spies and interrogators and also of heroism, a Stalinist anti-world at the heart of the Soviet Union where the key to survival lay not in hope but in despair. The work is based on the testimony of some two hundred survivors, and on the recollection of Solzhenitsyn's own eleven years in labor camps and exile. It is both a thoroughly researched document and a feat of literary and imaginative power. This edition has been abridged into one volume at the author's wish and with his full co-operation.
More: 2015 Personality Lecture 13: Existentialism: Nazi Germany and the USSR
Two potent totalitarian movements emerged in the 20th century: National Socialism and Communism. Both can be viewed as the consequence of existential angst and inauthenticity. Both were supported by the lie.