Gulag: Book summary and reviews of Gulag by Anne Applebaum

Gulag

A History

by Anne Applebaum

Gulag

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Book Summary

The Gulag--a vast array of Soviet concentration camps that held millions of political and criminal prisoners--was a system of repression and punishment that terrorized the entire society, embodying the worst tendencies of Soviet communism. In this magisterial and acclaimed history, Anne Applebaum offers the first fully documented portrait of the Gulag, from its origins in the Russian Revolution, through its expansion under Stalin, to its collapse in the era of glasnost. Applebaum intimately re-creates what life was like in the camps and links them to the larger history of the Soviet Union. Immediately recognized as a landmark and long-overdue work of scholarship, Gulag is an essential book for anyone who wishes to understand the history of the twentieth century.

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Book Awards

  • award image Pulitzer Prize for Letters, Drama and Music, 2004

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Applebaum's lucid prose and painstaking consideration of the competing theories about aspects of camp life and policy are always compelling." - PW

"This first complete history of the Gulag system not only points out the similarities with the Nazis and their concentration camps but also puts Stalin and his Gulag on the same ghastly level. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"Extraordinary in its range and lucidity: a most welcome companion to Bernard-Henri Levi’s Barbarism With a Human Face, Robert Conquest’s The Great Terror, and, of course, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago." - Kirkus

"Lucid, painstakingly detailed, never sensational, it should have a place on every educated reader's shelves." - The Los Angeles Times

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Author Information

Anne Applebaum Author Biography

Photo: Anne Applebaum

Anne Applebaum was born in 1664, and was educated at Sidwell Friends School before earning a BA at Yale. Anne went on to earn a Masters Degree at the London School of Economics, before moving to Warsaw, Poland in 1988 as a correspondent for The Economist, where she met her husband, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. In 1992, Applebaum won the Charles Douglas-Home Memorial Trust award for journalism in the ex-Soviet Union.

Anne is currently a columnist for The Washington Post and Slate. Her previous book, Gulag, won the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction and was a finalist for three other major prizes. Her essays appear in The New York Review of Books, Slate, and The London Spectator.

Anne lives in Washington, D.C., and Poland with her husband and their two sons.

... Full Biography

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