Gulag: A History

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Gulag: A History

by Anne Applebaum

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | April 9, 2004 | Trade Paperback

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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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 736 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 1.18 in

Published: April 9, 2004

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1400034094

ISBN - 13: 9781400034093

Found in: History

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Gulag: A History

Gulag: A History

by Anne Applebaum

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 736 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 1.18 in

Published: April 9, 2004

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1400034094

ISBN - 13: 9781400034093

About the Book

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.

Read from the Book

Chapter 1 BOLSHEVIK BEGINNINGS But your spine has been smashed, My beautiful, pitiful era, And with an inane smile You look back, cruel and weak, Like an animal past its prime, At the prints of your own paws. --Osip Mandelstam, "Vek"1 One of my goals is to destroy the myth that the cruelest era of repression began in 1936-37. I think that in future, statistics will show that the wave of arrests, sentences and exile had already begun at the beginning of 1918, even before the official declaration, that autumn, of the "Red Terror." From that moment, the wave simply grew larger and larger, until the death of Stalin . . . --Dmitrii Likhachev, Vospominaniya 2 In the year 1917, two waves of revolution rolled across Russia, sweeping Imperial Russian society aside as if it were destroying so many houses of cards. After Czar Nicholas II abdicated in February, events proved extremely difficult for anyone to halt or control. Alexander Kerensky, the leader of the first post-revolutionary Provisional Government, later wrote that, in the void following the collapse of the old regime, "all existing political and tactical programs, however bold and well conceived, appeared hanging aimlessly and uselessly in space."3 But although the Provisional Government was weak, although popular dissatisfaction was widespread, although anger at the carnage caused by the First World War ran high, few expected power to fall into the hands of the Bolsheviks, one of several radica
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From the Publisher

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.

From the Jacket

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 is a columnist and member of the editorial board of the Washington Post. A graduate of Yale and a Marshall Scholar, she has worked as the foreign and deputy editor of the Spectator (London), as the Warsaw correspondent for the Economist, and as a columnist for the on-line magazine Slate, as well as for several British newspapers. Her work has also appeared in the New York Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, and the Wall Street Journal, among many other publications. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Radek Sikorski, and two children.

Editorial Reviews

“An important book. . . . It is fervently to be hoped that people will read Anne Applebaum’s excellent, tautly written, and very damning history.” — The New York Times Book Review “The most authoritative—and comprehensive—account of this Soviet blight ever published by a Western writer.” — Newsweek “A titanic achievement: learned and moving and profound. . . . No reader will easily forget Applebaum’s vivid accounts of the horrible human suffering of the Gulag.” — National Review “A tragic testimony to how evil ideologically inspired dictatorships can be.” – The New York Times “Lucid, painstakingly detailed, never sensational, it should have a place on every educated reader’s shelves.” – Los Angeles Times “Magisterial. . . . Certain to remain the definitive account of its subject for years to come. . . . An immense achievement.” — The New Criterion “An excellent account of the rise and fall of the Soviet labor camps between 1917 and 1986. . . . A splendid book.” — The New York Review of Books “Should become the standard history of one of the greatest evils of the 20th century.” — The Economist “Thorough, engrossing . . . A searing attack on the corruption and the viciousness that seemed to rule the system and a testimonial to the resilience of the Russian people. . . . Her research is impeccable.R
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