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Gulag Voices: An Anthology

(Annals of Communism)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  125 ratings  ·  19 reviews
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. Gula ...more
Hardcover, 195 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Yale University Press
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Mar 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anne Applebaum received a Pulitzer Prize for her work, Gulag. It was a comprehensive overview of the prisoner work camp system that was developed in Russia, much earlier than the days of the USSR when it reached its zenith.
This volume contains actual first person reports of experiences in these camps by some famous and not famous individuals. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is not included given its wide publication. I read one report a day in that they are emotionally stressful. What it
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I would have given this five stars had it not been that the selections were so short. Amazing collection of excerpts from authors who had experienced the Soviet Gulag. While I have read a bit of Solzhenitsyn, I didn't even know of these other writers whom I will now explore. How people be so cruel on such a vast scale still boggles my mind. How ordinary Soviet citizens could not stand up to their government is easy to see given what happened to those who did.
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Gulag Voices includes 13 stories of Gulag survivors - but not their whole stories, only part of it. The first story tells about the arrest and the last story is the release from the Gulag. In between are stories about mass rape, the daily routines, believes etc.
Very well built up and very interesting while shattering at the same time.
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Hard to read, hard to put down. These are true testaments to human strength and witnesses to human cruelty.
I found this to be a very important book.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and informative

Very interesting and informative. Opens your eyes to a topic that is not too often discussed or known about in the US
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing

In her introduction, Applebaum writes:

"Some important aspects of the Gulag experience are not reflected in any of these essays. By definition, all the writers featured here survived, and all of them emerged both physically and mentally intact. They were all literate. They were all educated. They all had enough psychological distance from their experience to be able to describe it on paper. Those factors alone make them exceptional. The reader will not find here the testimony of those who died
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
An intense and horrifying survey of the Soviet gulags from the 1930s-1960s. In some ways it felt a little choppy because so many short excerpts from different authors were used, but it also gives you a wide range of experiences. I also thought it was interesting the way the author arranged them, so that the excerpts went from interrogation to arrival at the camp to camp life to release. However, I would not recommend someone to read it as quickly as I did. It was really too much for me to take t ...more
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The size of the gulag system and the length of time it operated in the USSR defy easy summary or simple descriptions, but Applebaum's judiciously selected memoir excerpts do an excellent job of giving the feel of the lives of gulag prisoners. I assigned this as a required text in my undergraduate Russian history class, and it has proved very effective.
Paul  John Blair
Apr 14, 2014 rated it liked it
A series of essays from victims of the Soviet terror GULAG! Would like to seek out the actual books the stories were taken from but most were in Russian or Polish and were translated specially for this volume. Harrowing stuff but small book and not much to get your teeth into. Read her GULAG A History for a real read!
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Anne Applebaum is a wonderful author. This anthology of stories from the gulag shouldn't be called excellent because the subject matter is awful but they are well-written and interesting. Morbid fascination, perhaps?
Jun 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: russia
The essays are too short, the introduction written by Applebaum to each story too superficial. Too many stories, too many memories, treated "lightly", only briefly told, sometimes maybe in contrast with each other.
Mindy Halleck
Apr 14, 2014 rated it liked it
This collection of survivors of the Gulag stories sheds light on the Soviet concentration camps and is a must read for anyone interested in that history.
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
An unfortunately dry read. Going to investigate the writers included in this anthology outside of Applebaum's inept assembly.
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent perspective on the GULAG experience as viewed through the eyes of those who lived it.
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow. Of all the horrifying accounts I have read for my Russian terrorism class, these are the most poignant, the most evocative.
Phenomenal and life-changing.
Jul 22, 2013 rated it liked it
A nice companion piece to Applebaum's Gulag: A History.
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Journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author who has written extensively about communism and the development of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe. Since 2006, she is a columnist and member of the editorial board of the Washington Post.
She is married to Radosław Sikorski, the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs. They have two children, Alexander and Tadeusz.

Other books in the series

Annals of Communism (1 - 10 of 31 books)
  • Letters to Molotov: 1925-1936
  • The Secret World of American Communism
  • The Fall of the Romanovs: Political Dreams and Personal Struggles in a Time of Revolution
  • The Last Diary of Tsaritsa Alexandra
  • The Soviet World of American Communism
  • The Unknown Lenin: From the Secret Archive
  • Enemies Within the Gates?: The Comintern and the Stalinist Repression, 1934-1939
  • The Stalin-Kaganovich Correspondence, 1931–36
  • Voices of Revolution, 1917
  • Stalinism as a Way of Life: A Narrative in Documents

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