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Gulag: A History (2003)

by Anne Applebaum

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2,187395,401 (4.17)188
A fully documented history of the Soviet camp system, from its origins in the Russian Revolution to its collapse in the era of glasnost. Anne Applebaum first lays out the chronological history of the camps and the logic behind their creation, enlargement, and maintenance. Applebaum also examines how life was lived within this shadow country: how prisoners worked, how they ate, where they lived, how they died, how they survived. She examines their guards and their jailers, the horrors of transportation in empty cattle cars, the strange nature of Soviet arrests and trials, the impact of World War II, the relations between different national and religious groups, and the escapes, as well as the extraordinary rebellions that took place in the 1950s. She concludes by examining the disturbing question why the Gulag has remained relatively obscure, in the historical memory of both the former Soviet Union and the West.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
nonfiction (history of soviet gulags). takes into account recently surfaced documents providing a more complete story of the prison camps than has been told before. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
Excellent! Very well written book on a topic and time that needs to be discussed. It is also, at times, a painful book to read. It staggers the imagination to see the evil that mankind inflicts on itself. ( )
  Steve_Walker | Sep 13, 2020 |
Good, reasonably readable, and interesting. The main drawback is the same as in other books I read....include better maps. I am no Russian expert and place names requiring me to go to the internet irritate me. Better maps are necessary or do not include the geographic data (which in this case would negate the book). ( )
1 vote untraveller | Jan 29, 2019 |
Russian history, 20th century history, Gulag, Stalinism, Russian 20th Century, communism
  bibkid | Jan 19, 2019 |
I ordered this book at the same time as the author’s Red Famine, a look at Stalin’s largely manufactured famine centered in the Ukraine. I didn’t much enjoy Red Famine and wasn’t holding out much hope for this work. The author’s writing style in Red Famine was not reader friendly and I found it a chore to get through. However, for some reason, I tolerated this work much better. Perhaps it was the subject matter, which seemed to allow for more interesting reading.

As the title suggests, this work deals with the history of the Soviet gulag system of penal camps and relocation centers from the 1920s to their discontinuance in the 1950s. Unlike Red Famine, this book contains numerous personal stories and observations by those that survived the camps. As a result, it was easier to read and far more captivating than Red Famine. I can recommend this work for anyone interested in the subject matter, or Soviet history in general. ( )
  santhony | Jun 15, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Anne Applebaum’s Gulag: A History is the first volume that attempts to give a detailed and fairly comprehensive narrative of the origin, purpose, workings, and reality of the system based both on the memoirs of those who lived through and survived the camps and on the now-available archive documents in Russia.
 

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Denna bok tillägnas dem som skildrat vad som hände
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This is a history of the Gulag: a history of the vast network of labour camps that were once scattered across the length and breadth of the Soviet Union, from the islands of the White Sea to the shores of the Black Sea, from the Arctic Circle to the plains of central Asia, from Murmansk to Vorkuta to Kazakhstan, from central Moscow to the Leningrad suburbs.
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A fully documented history of the Soviet camp system, from its origins in the Russian Revolution to its collapse in the era of glasnost. Anne Applebaum first lays out the chronological history of the camps and the logic behind their creation, enlargement, and maintenance. Applebaum also examines how life was lived within this shadow country: how prisoners worked, how they ate, where they lived, how they died, how they survived. She examines their guards and their jailers, the horrors of transportation in empty cattle cars, the strange nature of Soviet arrests and trials, the impact of World War II, the relations between different national and religious groups, and the escapes, as well as the extraordinary rebellions that took place in the 1950s. She concludes by examining the disturbing question why the Gulag has remained relatively obscure, in the historical memory of both the former Soviet Union and the West.

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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