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Author : Anne Applebaum
ISBN : 9780141975269
Genre : History
File Size : 68.99 MB
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This landmark book uncovers for the first time in detail one of the greatest horrors of the twentieth century: the vast system of Soviet camps that were responsible for the deaths of countless millions. Gulag is the only major history in any language to draw together the mass of memoirs and writings on the Soviet camps that have been published in Russia and the West. Using these, as well as her own original research in NKVD archives and interviews with survivors, Anne Applebaum has written a fully documented history of the camp system: from its origins under the tsars, to its colossal expansion under Stalin's reign of terror, its zenith in the late 1940s and eventual collapse in the era of glasnost. It is a gigantic feat of investigation, synthesis and moral reckoning.
Category: History

Death And Redemption

Author : Steven A. Barnes
ISBN : 1400838614
Genre : History
File Size : 46.12 MB
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Death and Redemption offers a fundamental reinterpretation of the role of the Gulag--the Soviet Union's vast system of forced-labor camps, internal exile, and prisons--in Soviet society. Soviet authorities undoubtedly had the means to exterminate all the prisoners who passed through the Gulag, but unlike the Nazis they did not conceive of their concentration camps as instruments of genocide. In this provocative book, Steven Barnes argues that the Gulag must be understood primarily as a penal institution where prisoners were given one final chance to reintegrate into Soviet society. Millions whom authorities deemed "reeducated" through brutal forced labor were allowed to leave. Millions more who "failed" never got out alive. Drawing on newly opened archives in Russia and Kazakhstan as well as memoirs by actual prisoners, Barnes shows how the Gulag was integral to the Soviet goal of building a utopian socialist society. He takes readers into the Gulag itself, focusing on one outpost of the Gulag system in the Karaganda region of Kazakhstan, a location that featured the full panoply of Soviet detention institutions. Barnes traces the Gulag experience from its beginnings after the 1917 Russian Revolution to its decline following the 1953 death of Stalin. Death and Redemption reveals how the Gulag defined the border between those who would reenter Soviet society and those who would be excluded through death.
Category: History

Gulag Memories

Author : Zuzanna Bogumił
ISBN : 9781785339288
Genre : History
File Size : 22.82 MB
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Though the institution of the Gulag was nominally closed over half a decade ago, it lives on as an often hotly contested site of memory in the post-socialist era. This ethnographic study takes a holistic, comprehensive approach to understanding memories of the Gulag, and particularly the language of commemoration that surrounds it in present-day Russian society. It focuses on four regions of particular historical significance—the Solovetsky Islands, the Komi Republic, the Perm region, and Kolyma—to carefully explore how memories become a social phenomenon, how objects become heritage, and how the human need to create sites of memory has preserved the Gulag in specific ways today.
Category: History

The Gulags The History And Legacy Of The Notorious Soviet Labor Camps

Author : Charles River Editors
ISBN : 1792740611
Genre : History
File Size : 71.79 MB
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*Includes pictures *Includes accounts *Includes a bibliography for further reading One of the most idiosyncratic horrors of Soviet Russia was the Gulag system, an extensive network of forced labor and concentration camps. Part of the rationale behind this system was that it could serve as slave labor in the drive for industrialization, while also serving as a form of punishment. The name Gulag is in fact an acronym, approximating to "Main Administration of Camps" (in Russian: Glavnoe Upravlenie Lagerei) and operated by the Soviet Union's Ministry of the Interior. The Gulag consisted of internment camps, forced labor camps, psychiatric hospital facilities, and special laboratories, and its prisoners were known as zeks. Such was the closed and secretive nature of the Soviet state that to this day, knowledge of the Gulag system comes mainly from Western studies, firsthand accounts by prisoners such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and some local studies after the fall of communism. The most recognizable version of the Gulag, a term that was never pluralized in Russia itself, existed from the 1930s-1950s, a period in which a huge network of camps and prisons was established across the vast Soviet federation. Prisoners were often used as forced labor, made to do physically arduous and soul-destroying tasks. Some workers helped to build large infrastructure projects, and indeed the system was partly rationalized in terms of economics. By the early 1960s, Gulags were synonymous with various forms of punishments, including house arrest, imprisonment in isolated places, or confinement to a mental hospital where a prisoner would be declared insane or diagnosed with a "political" form of psychosis. In its later years, the Gulags held a particular place in the public's imagination, both within the USSR and in the outside world. They could mean exile, brutal punishment, or simply being banished to Siberia. Though it's often forgotten today, in many respects the Gulags represented a continuation (albeit a more far-reaching version) of the kind of punishment meted out during the Russian Empire under the Romanov dynasty, which was overthrown in 1917. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the system in the context of the broader history of Russia and its empire, even as the system of repression, imprisonment and punishment persisted for decades in the Soviet Union and has been primarily aligned with the rule of one leader: Josef Stalin. As the USSR's leader for almost 30 years and one of history's most notorious tyrants, Stalin was a believer in the economic utility of the Gulags' forced labor. He was so paranoid that he constantly saw potential enemies among his people, particularly his Bolshevik contemporaries. Stalin sent hundreds of thousands to the Gulags, notably in the 1930s during his "Great Terror" and after the end of the Second World War. For Soviet politicians, the Gulags served as a propaganda disaster, and they were constantly cited by Western leaders. Many nominal supporters of the Soviet Union were forced to reappraise their stance towards the country when reports of Stalin's Gulag became common knowledge, and the prison camps became an international issue during the Cold War, especially as human rights became a foreign policy priority for the West in the 1970s. A number of Soviet dissidents and former or current occupants of the Gulag, including Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, became cause celebres for campaigners outside the country. The USSR collapsed in December 1991, and it can be argued that the labor camps were not only integral to the very existence of the Soviet Union, but also a damning indictment of the Soviets' failed experiment in communist totalitarianism. The Gulags: The History and Legacy of the Notorious Soviet Labor Camps examines the rise of the labor camps, how they were instutionalized by Soviet leaders, and what life was like for the prisoners.
Category: History

Russia S Legal Fictions

Author : Harriet Murav
ISBN : 0472108794
Genre : Law
File Size : 49.60 MB
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Explores the relationship between law, literature, and authority in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russia
Category: Law

The Whisperers

Author : Orlando Figes
ISBN : 9781466829237
Genre : History
File Size : 51.39 MB
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From the award-winning author of A People's Tragedy and Natasha's Dance, a landmark account of what private life was like for Russians in the worst years of Soviet repression There have been many accounts of the public aspects of Stalin's dictatorship: the arrests and trials, the enslavement and killing in the gulags. No previous book, however, has explored the regime's effect on people's personal lives, what one historian called "the Stalinism that entered into all of us." Now, drawing on a huge collection of newly discovered documents, The Whisperers reveals for the first time the inner world of ordinary Soviet citizens as they struggled to survive amidst the mistrust, fear, compromises, and betrayals that pervaded their existence. Moving from the Revolution of 1917 to the death of Stalin and beyond, Orlando Figes re-creates the moral maze in which Russians found themselves, where one wrong turn could destroy a family or, perversely, end up saving it. He brings us inside cramped communal apartments, where minor squabbles could lead to fatal denunciations; he examines the Communist faithful, who often rationalized even their own arrest as a case of mistaken identity; and he casts a humanizing light on informers, demonstrating how, in a repressive system, anyone could easily become a collaborator. A vast panoramic portrait of a society in which everyone spoke in whispers—whether to protect their families and friends, or to inform upon them—The Whisperers is a gripping account of lives lived in impossible times.
Category: History

The Siberian Curse

Author : Fiona Hill
ISBN : 9780815796183
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 57.85 MB
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Can Russia ever become a normal, free-market, democratic society? Why have so many reforms failed since the Soviet Union's collapse? In this highly-original work, Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy argue that Russia's geography, history, and monumental mistakes perpetrated by Soviet planners have locked it into a dead-end path to economic ruin. Shattering a number of myths that have long persisted in the West and in Russia, The Siberian Curse explains why Russia's greatest assets––its gigantic size and Siberia's natural resources––are now the source of one its greatest weaknesses. For seventy years, driven by ideological zeal and the imperative to colonize and industrialize its vast frontiers, communist planners forced people to live in Siberia. They did this in true totalitarian fashion by using the GULAG prison system and slave labor to build huge factories and million-person cities to support them. Today, tens of millions of people and thousands of large-scale industrial enterprises languish in the cold and distant places communist planners put them––not where market forces or free choice would have placed them. Russian leaders still believe that an industrialized Siberia is the key to Russia's prosperity. As a result, the country is burdened by the ever-increasing costs of subsidizing economic activity in some of the most forbidding places on the planet. Russia pays a steep price for continuing this folly––it wastes the very resources it needs to recover from the ravages of communism. Hill and Gaddy contend that Russia's future prosperity requires that it finally throw off the shackles of its Soviet past, by shrinking Siberia's cities. Only by facilitating the relocation of population to western Russia, closer to Europe and its markets, can Russia achieve sustainable economic growth. Unfortunately for Russia, there is no historical precedent for shrinking cities on the scale that will be required. Downsizing Siberia will be a costly and wrenching process. But there is no alternative. Russia cannot afford to keep the cities communist planners left for it out in the cold.
Category: Political Science


Author : Tony Judt
ISBN : 1440624763
Genre : History
File Size : 56.48 MB
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Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize Winner of the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award One of the New York Times' Ten Best Books of the Year Almost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world's most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers all of Europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. Both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy.
Category: History

The Oxford Handbook Of The History Of Communism

Author : S. A. Smith
ISBN : 9780191667527
Genre : History
File Size : 52.48 MB
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The impact of Communism on the twentieth century was massive, equal to that of the two world wars. Until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, historians knew relatively little about the secretive world of communist states and parties. Since then, the opening of state, party, and diplomatic archives of the former Eastern Bloc has released a flood of new documentation. The thirty-five essays in this Handbook, written by an international team of scholars, draw on this new material to offer a global history of communism in the twentieth century. In contrast to many histories that concentrate on the Soviet Union, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism is genuinely global in its coverage, paying particular attention to the Chinese Revolution. It is 'global', too, in the sense that the essays seek to integrate history 'from above' and 'from below', to trace the complex mediations between state and society, and to explore the social and cultural as well as the political and economic realities that shaped the lives of citizens fated to live under communist rule. The essays reflect on the similarities and differences between communist states in order to situate them in their socio-political and cultural contexts and to capture their changing nature over time. Where appropriate, they also reflect on how the fortunes of international communism were shaped by the wider economic, political, and cultural forces of the capitalist world. The Handbook provides an informative introduction for those new to the field and a comprehensive overview of the current state of scholarship for those seeking to deepen their understanding.
Category: History

The Thaw

Author : Denis Kozlov
ISBN : 9781442618954
Genre : History
File Size : 64.60 MB
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The period from Stalin’s death in 1953 to the end of the 1960s marked a crucial epoch in Soviet history. Though not overtly revolutionary, this era produced significant shifts in policies, ideas, language, artistic practices, daily behaviours, and material life. It was also during this time that social, cultural, and intellectual processes in the USSR began to parallel those in the West (and particularly in Europe) as never before. This volume examines in fascinating detail the various facets of Soviet life during the 1950s and 1960s, a period termed the ‘Thaw.’ Featuring innovative research by historical, literary, and film scholars from across the world, this book helps to answer fundamental questions about the nature and ultimate fortune of the Soviet order – both in its internal dynamics and in its long-term and global perspectives.
Category: History