IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE! for how long have those words given comfort to the complacent? In 1891 there were three federal prisons, by 1930 there were 11, today there are a minimum of 116. Part of the problem is the exponential growth of crimes that are now federal as opposed to violations of state laws. The states have been all too happy to abdicate their jurisdiction because it places the cost of apprehension, prosecution and detention on someone else’s budget but from the defendant’s perspective it sharply reduces the possibility of acquittal and greatly increases the burden of defense. This book is not only an excellent history but may also be a frightening prophecy.
The history of the Gulag : from collectivization to the great terror Oleg V. Khlevniuk ; foreword by Robert Conquest ; translated by Vadim A. Staklo with editorial assistance and commentary by David J. Nordlander New Haven : Yale University Press, c 2004 Hardcover. First edition, later printing. xviii, 418 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references and indexes. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
The human cost of the Gulag, the Soviet labor camp system in which millions of people were imprisoned between 1920 and 1956, was staggering. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and others after him have written movingly about the Gulag, yet never has there been a thorough historical study of this unique and tragic episode in Soviet history.
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 to the expansion of the Gulag as much as 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.