The Gulag—the Soviet Union’s vast system of forced-labor camps, internal exile, and prisons—has long been referenced as a gruesome symbol of tyranny in the Stalin era. But why did Soviet authorities act as they did? Death and Redemption: The Gulag and the Shaping of Soviet Society by Steven A. Barnes, director of the Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Mason University, takes a fascinating look at the role of the Gulag, contrasting it with Nazi concentration camps and exploring how it operated primarily as a brutal penal institution and instrument of ‘reeducation’, and not one of genocide. This week the book is the subject of an ongoing blog conversation at the Russian History Blog. A number of Gulag specialists will be discussing the book over the next seven to ten days. Catch the first installments here.
Death and Redemption by Steven Barnes on Russian History Blog
May 17, 2012 by