The Gulag Survivor
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The Gulag Survivor : Beyond the Soviet System

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Even before its dissolution in 1991, the Soviet Union was engaged in an ambivalent struggle to come to terms with its violent and repressive history. Following the death of Stalin in 1953, entrenched officials attempted to distance themselves from the late dictator without questioning the underlying legitimacy of the Soviet system. At the same time, the Gulag victims to society opened questions about the nature, reality, and mentality of the system that remain contentious to this day. The Gulag Survivor is the first book to examine at length and in-depth the post-camp experience of Stalin's victims and their fate in post-Soviet Russia. As such, it is an essential companion to the classic work of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Based on extensive interviews, memoirs, official records, and recently opened archives. The Gulag Survivor describes what survivors experienced when they returned to society, how officials helped or hindered them, and how issues surrounding the existence of the returness evolved from the fifties up to the present. Adler establishes the social and historical context of the first wave of returnees who were "liberated" into exile in Stalin's time. She reviews diverse aspects of return including camp culture, family reunion, and the psychological consequences of the Gulag. Adler then focuses on the enduring belief in the Communist Party among some survivors and the association between returnees and the growing dissident movement. She concludes by examining how issues surrounding the survivors reemerged in the eighties and nineties and the impact they had on the failing Soviet system. Written and researched while Russian archives were most available and while there were still survivors to tell their stories, The Gulag Survivor is a groundbreaking and essential work in modern Russian history. It will be read by historians, political scientists, Slavic scholars, and sociologists.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 290 pages
  • 159.5 x 236.7 x 27.4mm | 607.82g
  • Taylor & Francis Inc
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New.
  • 0765800713
  • 9780765800718

Review quote

-The Gulag Survivor is a notable book on a very important topic.- --Slavic Review -This pathbreaking volume reminds us that there were also Gulag survivors, victims of Stalinism. Unlike Holocaust survivors, the victims of Soviet repressions usually were of the same ethnic origin as the perpetrators of the violence, and in the main returned to their home country, away from Western scrutiny. Adler (Univ. of Amsterdam) lays out a broad agenda: she endeavors to document Gulag survivors as psychological, sociological, and political problems for the former Soviet Union and Russia today. Soviet survivors emerged soon after the war, a movement that escalated after Stalin's death. Their numbers were so numerous that they could not but impact late- and post-Soviet politics. The author shows that after they rejoined society, the survivors were not an easy fit; victims and perpetrators often dwelt within the same family. The first of eight chapters defines the problem and reviews the literature of the survivors and perpetrators, their traumas and guilt. Thereafter Adler covers the problem chronologically, starting with the returnees in 1947 and ending with the discussion of their impact on the demise of the USSR and post-Gorbachev Russia. This thoroughly footnoted work is recommended for college and public libraries.- --A. Ezergailis, Choice -It is sensitive handling of a difficult phenomenon in Soviet history, and adds substantially to our knowledge of this particular issue.- --Graeme Gill, The Russian Review "The Gulag Survivor is a notable book on a very important topic." --Slavic Review "This pathbreaking volume reminds us that there were also Gulag survivors, victims of Stalinism. Unlike Holocaust survivors, the victims of Soviet repressions usually were of the same ethnic origin as the perpetrators of the violence, and in the main returned to their home country, away from Western scrutiny. Adler (Univ. of Amsterdam) lays out a broad agenda: she endeavors to document Gulag survivors as psychological, sociological, and political problems for the former Soviet Union and Russia today. Soviet survivors emerged soon after the war, a movement that escalated after Stalin's death. Their numbers were so numerous that they could not but impact late- and post-Soviet politics. The author shows that after they rejoined society, the survivors were not an easy fit; victims and perpetrators often dwelt within the same family. The first of eight chapters defines the problem and reviews the literature of the survivors and perpetrators, their traumas and guilt. Thereafter Adler covers the problem chronologically, starting with the returnees in 1947 and ending with the discussion of their impact on the demise of the USSR and post-Gorbachev Russia. This thoroughly footnoted work is recommended for college and public libraries." --A. Ezergailis, Choice "It is sensitive handling of a difficult phenomenon in Soviet history, and adds substantially to our knowledge of this particular issue." --Graeme Gill, The Russian Review "This pathbreaking volume reminds us that there were also Gulag survivors, victims of Stalinism. Unlike Holocaust survivors, the victims of Soviet repressions usually were of the same ethnic origin as the perpetrators of the violence, and in the main returned to their home country, away from Western scrutiny. Adler (Univ. of Amsterdam) lays out a broad agenda: she endeavors to document Gulag survivors as psychological, sociological, and political problems for the former Soviet Union and Russia today. Soviet survivors emerged soon after the war, a movement that escalated after Stalin's death. Their numbers were so numerous that they could not but impact late- and post-Soviet politics. The author shows that after they rejoined society, the survivors were not an easy fit; victims and perpetrators often dwelt within the same family. The first of eight chapters defines the problem and reviews the literature of the survivors and perpetrators, their traumas and guilt. Thereafter Adler covers the problem chronologically, starting with the returnees in 1947 and ending with the discussion of their impact on the demise of the USSR and post-Gorbachev Russia. This thoroughly footnoted work is recommended for college and public libraries." --A. Ezergailis, Choice "It is sensitive handling of a difficult phenomenon in Soviet history, and adds substantially to our knowledge of this particular issue." --Graeme Gill, "The Russian Review" ""The Gulag Survivor" is a notable book on a very important topic." --"Slavic Review" "It is sensitive handling of a difficult phenomenon in Soviet history, and adds substantially to our knowledge of this particular issue." --Graeme Gill, "The Russian Review" ""The Gulag Survivor" is a notable book on a very important topic."--"Slavic Review" "It is sensitive handling of a difficult phenomenon in Soviet history, and adds substantially to our knowledge of this particular issue."--Graeme Gill, "The Russian Review"show more

About Nanci D. Adler

Nanci Adler is a research fellow at the Institute of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and currently Visiting Distinguished Lecturer at San Diego State University. She is the author of Victims of Soviet Terror: The Story of the Memorial Movement and numerous scholarly journal articles on the consequences of Stalinism.show more

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