Gulag Voices: An Anthology

Overview

Anne Applebaum wields her considerable knowledge of a dark chapter in human history and presents a collection of the writings of survivors of the Gulag, the Soviet concentration camps. Although the opening of the Soviet archives to scholars has made it possible to write the history of this notorious concentration camp system, documents tell only one side of the story. Gulag Voices now fills in the other half.

The backgrounds of the writers reflect the extraordinary diversity of ...

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Overview

Anne Applebaum wields her considerable knowledge of a dark chapter in human history and presents a collection of the writings of survivors of the Gulag, the Soviet concentration camps. Although the opening of the Soviet archives to scholars has made it possible to write the history of this notorious concentration camp system, documents tell only one side of the story. Gulag Voices now fills in the other half.

The backgrounds of the writers reflect the extraordinary diversity of the Gulag itself. Here are the personal stories of such figures as Dmitri Likhachev, a renowned literary scholar; Anatoly Marchenko, the son of illiterate laborers; and Alexander Dolgun, an American citizen. These remembrances—many of them appearing in English for the first time, each chosen for both literary and historical value—collectively spotlight the strange moral universe of the camps, as well as the relationships that prisoners had with one another, with their guards, and with professional criminals who lived beside them.

A vital addition to the literature of this era,annotated for a generation that no longer remembers the Soviet Union, Gulag Voices will inform, interest, and inspire, offering a source for reflection on human nature itself.

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Editorial Reviews

The New Criterion - Daniel J. Mahoney

"Anne Applebaum, who had plumbed the archives to great effect in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book Gulag: A History (2003), persuasively argues in the introduction to Gulag Voices that the profoundly personal perspective of Gulag memoirists . . . mean[s] that their works—valuable as both 'literature and testimony'—serve a 'moral and didactic' purpose as well as an historical one. . . . Works such as Gulag Voices encourage historical understanding and moral catharsis and should be welcomed by Russians and Westerners alike."—Daniel J. Mahoney, The New Criterion
Journal of Cold War Studies - Timothy J. Colton

"[T]he perfect companion for college courses on Soviet history. . . . This book, along with several similar books more or less simultaneously published, should be read widely."—Timothy J. Colton, Journal of Cold War Studies
Times Literary Supplement - Wendey Slater
“The power of Gulag Voices is not only to remind us of the horrors of the Soviet Union’s corrective labour institutions and to honour those who were incarcerated there. It is also to illuminate the human consequences that ensue when any state’s legal system fails to recognise the human rights of prisoners.”—Wendy Slater, Times Literary Supplement
The Independent - Mary Dejevsky

“[Gulag Voices] will inform a generation fortunate enough to be living in different times.”—Mary Dejevsky, The Independent
The Mail on Sunday - Anthony Beevor

“Applebaum….is the ideal editor, providing introductions to each account, as well as a general explanation of the Gulag system. Her selection, each depicting a different aspect of Gulag life, leaves an unforgettable impression.”—Anthony Beevor, The Mail on Sunday
The Spectator - Victor Sebestyen

“…Applebaum has performed an invaluable service…. She has put together a marvellous collection of memoirs, stories and reminiscences written by surviving Gulag inmates ranging from the 1920’s when Lenin opened camps in the first days after the Revolution, to the late 1970’s, a time when most Westerners, as well as Russians, presumed that such places no longer existed.”—Victor Sebestyen, The Spectator
The Scotsman - Michael Kerrigan

“A shocking mosaic of misery, of courage and of just about unimaginable resilience – this anthology brings together first-hand accounts of what it took men and women to survive. A disturbing and yet, in its way, inspiring book.” Michael Kerrigan, The Scotsman, 19th March 2011
Contemporary Review

"A book that weaves together chilling official history and personal stories of suffering and survival."—Contemporary Review
The Global Journal

"'A journey into an incredibly rich and sharp recollection of feelings and emotions… The memoirs of these authors take the reader far beyond the duty of memory towards the dead, into the depths of the human heart where, as Solzhenitsyn disclosed when he wrote The Gulag Archipelago, 'the line separating good and evil passes.'" The Global Journal, June 2012
Times Literary Supplement
The power of Gulag Voices is not only to remind us of the horrors of the Soviet Union’s corrective labour institutions and to honour those who were incarcerated there. It is also to illuminate the human consequences that ensue when any state’s legal system fails to recognise the human rights of prisoners.—Wendy Slater, Times Literary Supplement

— Wendey Slater

The Independent
[Gulag Voices] will inform a generation fortunate enough to be living in different times.—Mary Dejevsky, The Independent

— Mary Dejevsky

The Mail on Sunday
Applebaum….is the ideal editor, providing introductions to each account, as well as a general explanation of the Gulag system. Her selection, each depicting a different aspect of Gulag life, leaves an unforgettable impression.—Anthony Beevor, The Mail on Sunday

— Anthony Beevor

The Spectator
…Applebaum has performed an invaluable service…. She has put together a marvellous collection of memoirs, stories and reminiscences written by surviving Gulag inmates ranging from the 1920’s when Lenin opened camps in the first days after the Revolution, to the late 1970’s, a time when most Westerners, as well as Russians, presumed that such places no longer existed.—Victor Sebestyen, The Spectator

— Victor Sebestyen

The Scotsman
A shocking mosaic of misery, of courage and of just about unimaginable resilience – this anthology brings together first-hand accounts of what it took men and women to survive. A disturbing and yet, in its way, inspiring book.” Michael Kerrigan, The Scotsman, 19th March 2011

— Michael Kerrigan

Contemporary Review
A book that weaves together chilling official history and personal stories of suffering and survival.—Contemporary Review
The New Criterion
Anne Applebaum, who had plumbed the archives to great effect in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book Gulag: A History (2003), persuasively argues in the introduction to Gulag Voices that the profoundly personal perspective of Gulag memoirists . . . mean[s] that their works—valuable as both 'literature and testimony—serve a 'moral and didactic' purpose as well as an historical one. . . . Works such as Gulag Voices encourage historical understanding and moral catharsis and should be welcomed by Russians and Westerners alike.—Daniel J. Mahoney, The New Criterion

— Daniel J. Mahoney

Journal of Cold War Studies
[T]he perfect companion for college courses on Soviet history. . . . This book, along with several similar books more or less simultaneously published, should be read widely.—Timothy J. Colton, Journal of Cold War Studies

— Timothy J. Colton

The Global Journal
A journey into an incredibly rich and sharp recollection of feelings and emotions… The memoirs of these authors take the reader far beyond the duty of memory towards the dead, into the depths of the human heart where, as Solzhenitsyn disclosed when he wrote The Gulag Archipelago, 'the line separating good and evil passes.'" The Global Journal, June 2012
The New Criterion

"Anne Applebaum, who had plumbed the archives to great effect in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book Gulag: A History (2003), persuasively argues in the introduction to Gulag Voices that the profoundly personal perspective of Gulag memoirists . . . mean[s] that their works—valuable as both 'literature and testimony'—serve a 'moral and didactic' purpose as well as an historical one. . . . Works such as Gulag Voices encourage historical understanding and moral catharsis and should be welcomed by Russians and Westerners alike."—Daniel J. Mahoney, The New Criterion

— Daniel J. Mahoney

Journal of Cold War Studies

"[T]he perfect companion for college courses on Soviet history. . . . This book, along with several similar books more or less simultaneously published, should be read widely."—Timothy J. Colton, Journal of Cold War Studies

— Timothy J. Colton

Library Journal
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.—Harry Willems, Central Kansas Lib. Syst., Great Bend
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300177831
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Series: Annals of Communism Series
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 817,792
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Applebaum
Anne Applebaum is Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute. Her book Gulag: A History won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction as well as numerous other awards. She lives in Warsaw, Poland.

Biography

Anne Applebaum is a columnist and member of the editorial board of The Washington Post.

She began working as a journalist in 1988, when she moved to Poland to become the Warsaw correspondent for the Economist. She eventually covered the collapse of communism across Central and Eastern Europe, writing for a wide range of newspapers and magazines.

Returning to London in 1992, she became the Foreign Editor, and later Deputy Editor, of the Spectator magazine. Following that, she wrote a weekly column on British politics and foreign affairs, which appeared at different times in the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, and the Evening Standard newspapers. She covered the 1997 British election campaign as the Evening Standard's political editor. For several years, she wrote the "Foreigners" column in Slate magazine.

Her first book, Between East and West: Across the Borderlands of Europe, described a journey through Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus, then on the verge of independence. Her second book, Gulag: A History, narrates the history of the Soviet concentration camp system and describes daily life in the camps. It makes extensive use of recently-opened Russian archives.

Over the years, her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The International Herald Tribune, Foreign Affairs, The Boston Globe, The Independent, The Guardian, Commentaire, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Newsweek, The New Criterion, The Weekly Standard, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, The National Review, The New Statesman, The Times Literary Supplement and the Literary Review, among others. She has appeared as a guest and as a presenter on many radio and television programs, among them BBC's Newsnight, The Today Progamme, The Week in Westminster, as well as CNN, MSNBC, CBS and Sky News.

Anne Applebaum was born in Washington, D.C. in 1964. After graduating from Yale University, she was a Marshall Scholar at the London School of Economics and St. Antony's College, Oxford. In 1992 she won the Charles Douglas-Home Memorial Trust award for journalism in the ex-Soviet Union. Between East and West won an Adolph Bentinck prize for European non-fiction in 1996. Her husband, Radek Sikorski, is a Polish politician and writer. They have two children, Alexander and Tadeusz.

Author biography courtesy of Anne Applebaum's official web site.

Good To Know

herself:

"I met my husband because he and I decided to drive to the Berlin Wall on the night that it was first opened -- we drove there, together with another friend. Since he's from the East -- he grew up in Poland -- and I'm from the West, we've always liked the symbolism of that encounter."

"It was my foreign husband who finally persuaded me to move back to the United States, in 2002. After 16 years, I'd already reconciled myself to living abroad and had acquired dual citizenship in Britain. I thought of myself as a British journalist -- I'd never worked in the U.S. Now people seem surprised to learn that I was gone for so long." [Note: In 2006, Applebaum moved back to Poland with her husband.]

"If it were practical, I'd probably live in a Polish country house -- it's a 19th-century manor house that my husband and his parents have been restoring for the past decade. It isn't near anything -- it's provincial in the best sense of the word -- so is therefore impractical, but it is enormously satisfying to spend time in an old place that is nevertheless designed the way we wanted it designed. Although it has no architectural or historical significance, it is a house with an unusually calm aura, one that has inspired others -- while researching his own book about the place (The Polish House), my husband discovered that a novel had been written about it in the early 20th century.

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    1. Hometown:
      Poland
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 25, 1964
    2. Place of Birth:
      Washington, D.C.
    1. Education:
      B.A., Yale University, 1986; M.Sc., London School of Economics, 1987; St. Antony’s College, Oxford
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

1 Arrest Dmitry S. Likhachev 1

2 Interrogation Alexander Dolgun 13

3 The Kolyma Tram Elena Glinka 39

4 A Day in Labor Corrective Camp No. 21 Kazimierz Zarod 49

5 On Work Anatoly Zhigulin 57

6 On Faith Nina Gagen-Torn 69

7 Promotion Isaak Filshtinsky 83

8 My Child Hava Volovich 95

9 The House of Meetings Gustav Herling 105

10 Informers Lev Kopelev 125

11 Jailers Lev Razgon 143

12 The Cooler Anatoly Marchenko 169

13 Liberation K. Petrus 181

Acknowledgments 193

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