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1 Burnside Russia- Soviet Union

Gulag: A History

by

Gulag: A History Cover

 

Awards

2004 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Gulag—the vast array of Soviet concentration camps—was a system of repression and punishment whose rationalized evil and institutionalized inhumanity were rivaled only by the Holocaust.

The Gulag entered the worlds historical consciousness in 1972, with the publication of Alexander Solzhenitsyns epic oral history of the Soviet camps, The Gulag Archipelago. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, dozens of memoirs and new studies covering aspects of that system have been published in Russia and the West. Using these new resources as well as her own original historical research, Anne Applebaum has now undertaken, for the first time, a fully documented history of the Soviet camp system, from its origins in the Russian Revolution to its collapse in the era of glasnost. It is an epic feat of investigation and moral reckoning that places the Gulag where it belongs: at the center of our understanding of the troubled history of the twentieth century.

Anne Applebaum first lays out the chronological history of the camps and the logic behind their creation, enlargement, and maintenance. The Gulag was first put in place in 1918 after the Russian Revolution. In 1929, Stalin personally decided to expand the camp system, both to use forced labor to accelerate Soviet industrialization and to exploit the natural resources of the countrys barely habitable far northern regions. By the end of the 1930s, labor camps could be found in all twelve of the Soviet Unions time zones. The system continued to expand throughout the war years, reaching its height only in the early 1950s. From 1929 until the death of Stalin in 1953, some 18 million people passed through this massive system. Of these 18 million, it is estimated that 4.5 million never returned.

But the Gulag was not just an economic institution. It also became, over time, a country within a country, almost a separate civilization, with its own laws, customs, literature, folklore, slang, and morality. Topic by topic, Anne 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.

Gulag: A History will immediately be recognized as a landmark work of historical scholarship and an indelible contribution to the complex, ongoing, necessary quest for truth.

Review:

"Applebaum's lucid prose and painstaking consideration of the competing theories about aspects of camp life and policy are always compelling." Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

The Gulag--a vast array of Soviet concentration camps that held millions of political and criminal prisoners--was a system of repression and punishment that terrorized the entire society, embodying the worst tendencies of Soviet communism. In this magisterial and acclaimed history, Anne Applebaum offers the first fully documented portrait of the Gulag, from its origins in the Russian Revolution, through its expansion under Stalin, to its collapse in the era of glasnost. Applebaum intimately re-creates what life was like in the camps and links them to the larger history of the Soviet Union. Immediately recognized as a landmark and long-overdue work of scholarship, Gulag is an essential book for anyone who wishes to understand the history of the twentieth century.

About the Author

Anne Applebaum was born in Washington, D.C., received a bachelor’s degree from Yale, and studied at Saint Antony’s College, Oxford, and the London School of Economics on a Marshall scholarship. In 1988, she moved to Poland to work for the Economist, and a few years later became foreign editor, then deputy editor, of the Spectator. Her work has also appeared in the New York Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, Slate and other British and American publications. She is the author of one previous book, Between East and West: Across the Borderlands of Europe. After living for more than fifteen years in Europe, she joined the editorial board of the Washington Post in 2002 and now lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

  1. pt. 1. Theorigins of the Gulag, 1917-1939 -1.Bolshevik beginnings
  2. 2. "Thefirst camp of the Gulag" --3.1929 : the great turning point
  3. 4. TheWhite Sea Canal
  4. 5. Thecamps expand
  5. 6. Thegreat terror and its aftermath
  6. pt. 2.Life and work in the camps
  7. 7.Arrest
  8. 8.Prison
  9. 9.Transport, arrival, selection
  10. 10.Life in the camps
  11. 11.Work in the camps
  12. 12.Punishment and reward
  13. 13. Theguards
  14. 14. Theprisoners
  15. 15.Women and children
  16. 16. Thedying
  17. 17.Strategies of survival
  18. 18.Rebellion and escape
  19. pt. 3. Therise and fall of the camp-industrial complex, 1940-1986
  20. 19. Thewar begins
  21. 20."Strangers" --21.Amnesty and afterward
  22. 22. Thezenith of the camp-industrial complex
  23. 23. Thedeath of Stalin
  24. 24. TheZeks' revolution
  25. 25.Thaw and release
  26. 26. Therea of the dissidents
  27. 27. The1980s : smashing statues.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780767900560
Subtitle:
A History
Author:
Applebaum, Anne
Publisher:
Doubleday
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
International
Subject:
Communism & Socialism
Subject:
Penology
Subject:
Soviet Union
Subject:
Prisons
Subject:
Political History
Subject:
Concentration camps
Subject:
Forced labor
Subject:
International Relations - General
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Communism & Socialism
Subject:
Soviet Union Politics and government.
Subject:
Concentration camps -- Soviet Union -- History.
Subject:
Russia (pre & post Soviet Union)
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
Politics-Leftist Studies
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
P70-84
Publication Date:
20030429
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2-16 PAGE, B/W INSERTS
Pages:
720
Dimensions:
9.50x6.46x1.66 in. 2.34 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Crime » Prisons and Prisoners
History and Social Science » Politics » Leftist Studies
History and Social Science » Russia » General Russian History
History and Social Science » Russia » Soviet Union
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » Russia

Gulag: A History Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.50 In Stock
Product details 720 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780767900560 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Applebaum's lucid prose and painstaking consideration of the competing theories about aspects of camp life and policy are always compelling."
"Synopsis" by , The Gulag--a vast array of Soviet concentration camps that held millions of political and criminal prisoners--was a system of repression and punishment that terrorized the entire society, embodying the worst tendencies of Soviet communism. In this magisterial and acclaimed history, Anne Applebaum offers the first fully documented portrait of the Gulag, from its origins in the Russian Revolution, through its expansion under Stalin, to its collapse in the era of glasnost. Applebaum intimately re-creates what life was like in the camps and links them to the larger history of the Soviet Union. Immediately recognized as a landmark and long-overdue work of scholarship, Gulag is an essential book for anyone who wishes to understand the history of the twentieth century.
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