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The Victims Return: Survivors of the Gulag after Stalin [Paperback]

Stephen F. Cohen

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Book Description

June 19 2012
Stalin’s Reign of terror in the Soviet Union has been called “the other holocaust.” During the Stalin years, it is thought that more innocent men, women, and children perished than in Hitler’s destruction of the European Jews. Many millions died in Stalin’s Gulag of torture prisons and forced labor camps, yet others survived and were freed after his death in 1953.
 
This book is the story of the survivors. Long kept secret by Soviet repression and censorship, it is now told by renowned author and historian Stephen F. Cohen, who came to know many former Gulag inmates during his frequent trips to Moscow over a period of 30 years. Based on first-hand interviews with the victims themselves and on newly available materials, Cohen provides a powerful narrative of the survivors’ post-Gulag saga, from their liberation and return to Soviet society, to their long struggle to salvage what remained of their shattered lives and to obtain justice; showing that the struggle between anti-Stalinists and Stalinists is still under way in Russia today.

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Review

"[Stephen F. Cohen] helps us better understand Russia’s enigmatic present and better appreciate what to look for as it lurches into the future." -- The New York Times

"A striking memoir ... Cohen engages fully - and personally - with the debate on the way [Russians] continue to grapple with their Stalinist legacy." -- The New Yorker
 
"As Russia swings to the right under Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent whom some compare to Stalin, Cohen does a good job of rattling the skeletons in its closet." -- The Washington Post

About the Author

Stephen F. Cohen is a leading scholar of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, a media commentator, and the author of several widely acclaimed books. He is a professor of Russian Studies and History at New York University and Emeritus Professor of Politics at Princeton, and was awarded the prestigious 2011 Liberty Award for his contribution to developing cultural ties between the US and Russia. His books include Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography; Rethinking the Soviet Experience; Sovieticus; Failed Crusade: America; and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia and Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives. Cohen is married to Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation, where he is a contributing editor.

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