Gulag Voices

An Anthology
Gulag Voices: An Anthology. Yale Univ. (Annals of Communism). Jan. 2011. c.224p. ed. by Anne Applebaum. tr. from Russian by Jane Ann Miller. ISBN 9780300153200. $25. HIST
The term gulag, derived from the Russian acronym for "chief administration of corrective labor camps," has been seared on the conscience of a generation of world residents raised in the shadow of Communism and the Cold War. The horrors of the Gulag have been chronicled in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago and Applebaum's Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag: A History, for which she used newly opened archives to corroborate statistics and facts. Here she has collected a wide variety of pieces—some excerpts from longer works, some pieces in their entirety, and some, by former zeks (prisoners), newly translated into English, describing subtler aspects of Gulag life. The mixture as a whole balances hard facts with literary nonfiction. The results form a living history of the human story, including the strange camp morality, relationships among inmates, and insights into the psychological conditions of prisoners.
VERDICT The Gulag experience is not a fashionable topic in Russia today, but this work will provide the English-reading audience with Gulag experiences that resonate. Recommended for Russian history readers and historians wanting to learn more about the subtleties of Gulag life.
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