A historic photographic record of the Soviet Gulag and its legacy.
The Gulag was a network of labor camps and penal colonies run by the Soviet security organizations. While forced labor and internal exile had a long history in Russia, the Gulag evolved into a devastating tool of political suppression and massive industrial production. From the early years of the Revolution to the final years of the USSR, millions labored and perished within this system.
Gulag covers the history of the Gulag with incredible essays and firsthand narratives by former prisoners. The text is accompanied by photographs provided by the prisoners, survivor groups and state archives as well as contemporary photographs that show the camps as they look now.
Each chapter covers a key camp or work project of the Soviet penal-industrial complex:
Solovki, the monastery that was the birthplace of the Gulag system
The White Sea Canal
Vaigach, the doomed humane camp
The Theater in the Gulag
Kolyma, the deadly Siberian gold rush
Vorkuta, coal mining above the Arctic Circle
The Railroad of Death
Each chapter has:
A concise introductory essay
Formerly banned and previously unpublished archival photographs
Detailed chronology of the camp
Prisoners' accounts of life and death in the camps and colonies
Accounts of survivors some of whom still live near their former camp or colony.
Gulag is a remarkable pictorial history of a harrowing era of the twentieth century.