Gulag: a History of the Soviet Camps

Author(s): Anne Applebaum

Second World War

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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Anne Applebaum studied Russian at Yale and International Relations and East European politics at the London School of Economics and St Antony's College, Oxford. She has been a writer and editor at the Economist and deputy editor at the Spectator, writing about European and British politics, as well as Warsaw correspondent for the Boston Globe and The Independent. She is now a columnist and a member of the editorial board of the Washington Post.

The origins of the gulag, 1917-1939: Bolshevik beginnings; "The First Camp of the Gulag"; 1929 - the great turning point: the White Sea canal; the camps expand; the great terror and its aftermath. Life and work in the camps: arrest; prison; transport, arrival, selection; life in the camps; work in the camps; punishment and reward; the guards; the prisoners; women and children; the dying; strategies of survival; rebellion and escape. The rise and fall of the camp-industrial complex, 1940-1986: the war begins; "strangers"; amnesty - and afterwards; the zenith of the camp-industrial complex; the death of Stalin; the Zeks' revolution; thaw - and release; the era of the dissidents; the 1980 - smashing statues.

General Fields

  • : 9780713993226SECA
  • : Penguin Books, Limited
  • : Allen Lane
  • : May 2003
  • : 243mm X 165mm X 40mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Hardback
  • : SEPT03
  • : 365/.45/094709041
  • : 500
  • : 16pp b&w illustrations and photographs, maps, bibliography, index
  • : Anne Applebaum