Stalin's quarter-century rule in the USSR left 20 million people dead. In the late 1930s, during the height of the terror, one out of every eight Soviet citizens was shot or sent to a concentration camp. This study examines how people recover from such a repressive regime. It talks to prison survivors, writers and retired camp guards. It visits ...
Stalin's quarter-century rule in the USSR left 20 million people dead. In the late 1930s, during the height of the terror, one out of every eight Soviet citizens was shot or sent to a concentration camp. This study examines how people recover from such a repressive regime. It talks to prison survivors, writers and retired camp guards. It visits classrooms where teachers struggle to teach pupils a history that has changed dramatically in detail in the past five years. It talks to persecuted human rights activists and those searching for missing parents and grandparents. In the process, the book raises profound questions about the potential victim and executioner in all of us.
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Publishers Weekly, 1995-02-20 Journalist Hochschild (Half the Way Home), records the long-suppresed memories of Russians still healing from the wounds of Stalin's rule. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly, 1994-01-17 Hochschild spent the first half of 1991 in the former Soviet Union interviewing gulag survivors, former camp guards and members of the secret police, writers, artists, human rights activists, neo-Stalinists and ordinary citizens about their opinions of Stalin. This haunting and powerful report reveals that the dictator's legacy persists in widespread denial, amnesia, numbness and pervasive fear among people whose lives were scarred by mass arrests, killings and Stalin's spy network. Hochschild ( The Mirror at Midnight ) traveled to Kolyma, site of the deadliest camps; he interviewed Valentin Berezhkov, who was Stalin's English-language interpreter and privy to the regime's inner circle; he visited Moscow's KGB archives and was given files of American victims of the gulag. Comparing Stalin's purges to the witch craze of early medieval Europe, Hochschild attributes this ``self-inflicted genocide'' partly to Russians' age-old habits of scapegoating and passive obedience. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to New York Times Magazine . (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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