by Joan Neuberger At the beginning of 1941, Sergei Eisenstein was feeling defeated. Three years had passed since he had completed a film and, on January 2, the great Russian film maker confided to his diary that he felt like his broken-down car, lethargic and depressed. A few days earlier, tired of waiting for the […]
By Rebecca Johnston Leonardo Padura is arguably one of Cuba’s most untouchable writers. He made his name first as an investigative journalist, and then as the author of the Havana Quartet detective series, sometimes described as “morality tales for the post-Soviet era.” The Man Who Loved Dogs is by far his most ambitious work. A […]
Shelia Fitzpatrick’s work provides a detailed exploration of daily urban life in Stalinist Russia. Covering a wide array of subjects, including bureaucracy, consumption, utopianism, family life, and the Great Purge, she argues that “Stalin’s Revolution” forced ordinary Russians to adopt new attitudes and practices that ensured survival in the face of scarcity and repression.
Stalin’s Genocides provides an in-depth analysis of the horrendous atrocities — forced deportations, collectivization, the Ukrainian famine, and the Great Terror — perpetrated by Joseph Stalin’s tyrannical regime. Norman Naimark argues that these crimes should be considered genocide and that Joseph Stalin should therefore be labeled a “genocidaire.”
Before 1948, the Cold War was largely confined to Europe and the Middle East, areas that both U.S. and Soviet leaders considered vital to their nations’ core foreign policy objectives after the Second World War. By 1950, however, the Cold War had spread to Asia.
Lynne Viola’s The Unknown Gulag argues that the first and most heinous of Stalin’s notorious purges was the attack on wealthy or successful peasants known as kulaks, and their exile to desolate special settlements in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Acclaimed British historian Antony Beevor’s recently published The Second World War is a masterful account of the worst conflict in human history, when truly the entire world became engulfed in the flames of war. Having written previously on various aspects of the era, Beevor’s work attempts to synthesize his prior research into a detailed narrative of World War II.
“Through Labor – Freedom!” read a sign above the entrance to Solovetsky, just one of the 476 camps that comprised the Soviet gulag system.
Order 227 called for dramatically expanding the number of penal battalions. Penal battalions were sent to the most dangerous sections of the front to perform semi-suicidal missions such as frontal assaults on the enemy or walking across minefields.