Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps by Anne Applebaum

Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps by Anne Applebaum soon to be presented for sale on the special BookLovers of Bath web site!

Published: London: Allen Lane, 2003, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Contains: Black & white photographs; Maps;

From the cover: This landmark book uncovers for the first time in detail one of the greatest horrors of the twentieth century: the vast system of Soviet camps that were responsible for the deaths of countless millions.

Gulag is the only major history in any language to draw together the mass of memoirs and writings on the Soviet camps that have been published in Russia and the West. Using these, as well as her own original research in NKVD archives and interviews with survivors, Anne Applebaum has written a fully documented history of the camp system: from its origins under the tsars, to its colossal expansion under Stalins reign of terror, its zenith in the late 1940s and eventual collapse in the era of glasnost. It is a gigantic feat of investigation, synthesis and moral reckoning.

Gulag shows how the massive camp network, which eventually stretched across all of the Soviet Unions twelve time zones and saw some eighteen million people pass through it, became a country within a country: a separate civilization with its own laws, customs, literature, folklore, slang and morality. Anne Applebaum reveals how life was lived within this shadow country: how prisoners laboured (often mutilating or infecting themselves to avoid work), how they ate, where they slept, how they died, how they survived. She examines their guards and their gaolers, the horrors of transportation in cattle cars, the nature of Soviet arrests and trials, the impact of the Second World War and the escapes, as well as the extraordinary series of rebellions that took place in the 1940s and 1950s.

Applebaum concludes by examining why the Gulag has remained relatively obscure in the historical memory of both the former Soviet Union and the West and argues that our grasp of twentieth-century history will be incomplete unless we come to terms with it.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Top edge of the text block spotted otherwise a very well presented copy.

Red boards with Silver titling to the Spine. [XII] 610 pages. Index. Bibliography. 9½” x 6¼”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I woo you with the cream of the crop in my Military History catalogue?


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