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Cover for Illness and Inhumanity in Stalin's Gulag (Yale-Hoover Series on Authoritarian Regimes)

Illness and Inhumanity in Stalin's Gulag (Yale-Hoover Series on Authoritarian Regimes)

Golfo Alexopoulos


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A new and chilling study of lethal human exploitation in the Soviet forced labor camps, one of the pillars of Stalinist terror

In a shocking new study of life and death in Stalin’s Gulag, historian Golfo Alexopoulos suggests that Soviet forced labor camps were driven by brutal exploitation and often administered as death camps. The first study to examine the Gulag penal system through the lens of health, medicine, and human exploitation, this extraordinary work draws from previously inaccessible archives to offer a chilling new view of one of the pillars of Stalinist terror.

Praise For Illness and Inhumanity in Stalin's Gulag (Yale-Hoover Series on Authoritarian Regimes)

“Alexopoulos’s study of the Gulag medical system provides a wealth of new data based on meticulous archival research that should bring a significant change in scholars’ understanding of the Soviet calculus of punishment, productivity, and the value of human life.”—Choice

“A significant scholarly contribution, an invitation for further discussion among scholars of the gulag and, for non-specialists, a very useful entrée into recent literature.”—Daniel P. Todes, Russian Review

"This is an important and ground-breaking study of the catastrophe of the Stalinist Gulag. Golfo Alexopoulos demonstrates how the ruthless exploitation of prisoners, hunger, and a lack of medical care turned Stalinist camps into 'destructive-labor camps.' I am certain that this book’s findings about Gulag medicine and the true scale of prisoner mortality will be widely cited and discussed."—Oleg Khlevniuk, National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russian Federation) and author of Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator

“A well-researched, clearly written book providing a fresh and provocative reinterpretation of the Soviet system of forced labor camps and colonies.”—Alan Barenberg, author of Gulag Town, Company Town: Forced Labor and Its Legacy in Vorkuta

Yale University Press, 9780300179415, 328pp.

Publication Date: April 25, 2017

About the Author

Golfo Alexopoulos is professor of history at the University of South Florida and author of Stalin’s Outcasts: Aliens, Citizens, and the Soviet State, 1926–1936. She lives in Saint Petersburg, FL.