"The History of the Gulag" by Oleg V. Khlevniuk

The History of the Gulag From Collectivization to the Great Terror Oleg V. Khlevniuk, Vadim A. Staklo

Series:
Annals of Communism Series
Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
03 Sep 2013
ISBN:
9780300205039
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
464 pages: 235 x 156mm
Illustrations:
38 b-w illus.

Categories:

The human cost of the Gulag, the Soviet labor camp system in which millions of people were imprisoned between 1920 and 1956, was staggering. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and others after him have written movingly about the Gulag, yet never has there been a thorough historical study of this unique and tragic episode in Soviet history. This groundbreaking book presents the first comprehensive, historically accurate account of the camp system. Russian historian Oleg Khlevniuk has mined the contents of extensive archives, including long-suppressed state and Communist Party documents, to uncover the secrets of the Gulag and how it became a central component of Soviet ideology and social policy.

Khlevniuk argues persuasively that the Stalinist penal camps created in the 1930s were essentially different from previous camps. He shows that political motivations and paranoia about potential enemies contributed no more to the expansion of the Gulag than the economic incentive of slave labor did. And he offers powerful evidence that the Great Terror was planned centrally and targeted against particular categories of the population. Khlevniuk makes a signal contribution to Soviet history with this exceptionally informed and balanced view of the Gulag.

Oleg V. Khlevniuk is senior researcher at the State Archive of the Russian Federation, Moscow.

“What a long, extraordinary process digging into the deepest secrets of the Gulag has been. Now, here is its history, fully, factually, and humanly effected for the present day by Oleg Khlevniuk.”—Robert Conquest, from the foreword