2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A compelling read,
This review is from: Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps (Paperback)
I am currently reading this book and approaching the end. I knew a little about the horrors of the Soviet prison camps before reading this book, but the true scale and depth of the arrests, shootings and depravities committed and endured is what this book conveys so brilliantly. The horrors of the Nazi concentration camps are well known. The horrors of the Soviet Camps, where millions died of hunger, cold, being shot for no crime at all and forced labour is an episode in history that is less well documented. This is what makes Anne Applebaum's account all the more valuable. It is one of those books that once you start reading it compels you to continue, with a kind of morbid curiosity and a sense of disbelief at how a regime could treat its citizens in this way. Such history should be taught at all schools so that future generations can learn from it and also be inspired by some of the things people survived and the courage shown by some to stand up to the regime. Imagine every night living in fear of a knock at the door, being dragged from your home and family and sent to the Arctic wastelands of Russia from where you may never return. The wealth of detail in the book betrays the massive amount of research that the author must have undertaken. At the same time the book is never dry, like a lot of history books can be.
If you want a powerful narrative and to learn about the evils of the Stalin era and beyond this is the perfect choice. Well worth 5 stars.