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The Many Days and Many Lives of the Gulag

Steve Barnes, Assistant Professor at George Mason University, has set up a invaluable site called Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives.  Barnes is an expert in the history of the Gulag.  I had the pleasure of hearing paper of his at the “The Relaunch of the Soviet Project, 1945-1964” conference at the University College London in 2006. I especially look forward to his upcoming book on the subject.

Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives provides a comprehensive, nuanced, and sensitive picture of life in what was officially known as the Soviet Union’s Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Colonies.  The main exhibit, Days and Lives, gives a documentary run down of the experience of arrest, labor, suffering, dealing with criminal gangs, and how million died and survived imprisonment.  It’s truly an amazing and much needed achievement in history and memory.

In addition to the exhibits on Gulag life, Barnes has also organized a series called Episodes in Gulag History.  Episodes features conversations with scholars, writers, and others on different aspects of the Gulag system.  So far there is only one conversation with University of Toronto History Professor Lynne Viola on her new book The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin’s Special Settlements. I’m sure many more will soon follow. Subscribe to their podcast feed to stay updated.

This site will be a great addition for my upcoming History of Russia class.

Thanks to James at Robert Amsterdam for drawing my attention to it.

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