History of the Gulag: From Collectivization to the Great Terrot (2004)
By Oleg V. Khlevnyuk
Translated by Vadim A. Staklo
This groundbreaking book presents the first comprehensive, historically
accurate account of the camp system. Russian historian Oleg Khlevniuk has mined
the contents of extensive archives, including long-suppressed state and
Communist Party documents, to uncover the secrets of the Gulag and how it became
a central component of Soviet ideology and social policy.
Khlevniuk argues persuasively that the Stalinist penal camps created in the
1930s were essentially different from previous camps. He shows that political
motivations and paranoia about potential enemies contributed no more to the
expansion of the Gulag than the economic incentive of slave labor did. And he
offers powerful evidence that the Great Terror was planned centrally and
targeted against particular categories of the population. Khlevniuk makes a
signal contribution to Soviet history with this exceptionally informed and
balanced view of the Gulag.
Oleg V. Khlevniuk is senior researcher at the State Archive of the Russian
Federation (GARF), Moscow.
Principle archive: GARF.
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