The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalins Special Settlements

Paperback | February 12, 2009

byLynne Viola

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One of Stalin's most heinous acts was the ruthless repression of millions of peasants in the early 1930s, an act that established the very foundations of the gulag. Solzhenitsyn barely touched upon this brutal episode in his magisterial Gulag Archipelago and subsequent writers passed over thesubject in silence. Now, with the opening of Soviet archives, an entirely new dimension of Stalin's brutality has been uncovered. The Unknown Gulag is the first book in English to explore this untold story.Historian Lynne Viola reveals how, in one of the most egregious episodes of Soviet repression, Stalin drove two million peasants into internal exile, to work as forced laborers. The book shows how entire families were callously thrown out of their homes, banished from their villages, and sent to theicy hinterlands of the Soviet Union, where in the course of a decade, almost a half million would die as a result of disease, starvation, or exhaustion. Drawing on pioneering research in the previously closed archives of the central and provincial Communist Party, the Soviet state, and the secretpolice, Viola documents the history of this tragic episode. She delves into what long remained an entirely hidden world within the gulag, throwing new light on Stalin's consolidation of power, the rise of the secret police as a state within the state, and the complex workings of the Soviet system.But first and foremost, she movingly captures the day-to-day life of Stalin's first victims, telling the stories of the peasant families who experienced one of the twentieth century's most horrific instances of mass repression.A compelling story of human suffering and survival in Stalin's Soviet Union, here is a new chapter in the history of the gulag, virtually hidden from sight until now.

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One of Stalin's most heinous acts was the ruthless repression of millions of peasants in the early 1930s, an act that established the very foundations of the gulag. Solzhenitsyn barely touched upon this brutal episode in his magisterial Gulag Archipelago and subsequent writers passed over thesubject in silence. Now, with the opening of...

Lynne Viola is a Professor of History at the University of Toronto.

other books by Lynne Viola

Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.8 × 5.7 × 0.9 inPublished:February 12, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195385098

ISBN - 13:9780195385090

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Table of Contents

MapChronologyTechnical NoteGlossaryIntroduction: The Other ArchipelagoPart I: The Destruction of the Kulaks1. The Preemptive Strike: The Liquidation of the Kulak as a Class2. Banishment: The Deportation of the Kulaks3. No Pretensions to Reality: Forced Labor and the Bergavinov Commission4. Pencil Points on a Map: Building the Special SettlementsPart II: Life and Labor in the Special Settlements5. The Penal-Economic Utopia: "Reforging through Labor"6. Flight and Rebellion: The OGPU Takeover7. Hunger onto Death: The Famine of 1932/338. The Second Dekulakization: Rehabilitation and Repression9. Tearing the Evil from the Root: War, Redemption, and StigmatizationConclusionAppendixNotesResearch NoteBibliographyAcknowledgmentsIndex

Editorial Reviews

"A seamless and quite moving narrative.... a social historian at the top of her game." --Lewis H. Siegelbaum, Slavic Review