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The unquiet ghost : Russians remember Stalin

Author: Adam Hochschild
Publisher: New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking, 1994.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Stalin's Quarter-century rule over the Soviet Union left some 20 million people dead. During the height of the terror, in the late 1930s, one out of every eight Soviet men, women and children was shot or sent to the gulag - where most died. Until glasnost unlocked the gates to Russia's past, no one could openly write or speak about this vast genocide - one of the great raw wounds of modern history. The Unquiet Ghost  Read more...
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Named Person: Joseph Stalin; Joseph Stalin; Iosif V Stalin
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Adam Hochschild
ISBN: 0670840912 9780670840915
OCLC Number: 28708473
Description: xxvii, 304 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Contents: Father and son --
The uses of memory --
To see things as they are --
"Why are we weeping?" --
Lunch with the colonel --
Souls living and dead --
Believers --
"The Stalin in us" --
Beyond black and white --
Paths not taken --
"The interrogation has been interrupted" --
Library of death --
An empty field --
Secrets of the Riverbank --
Two fathers, two daughters --
Shark and angel --
Beyond the Pole Star --
The inmost circle --
The power of facing unpleasant facts --
Port of arrival.
Responsibility: Adam Hochschild.

Abstract:

Stalin's Quarter-century rule over the Soviet Union left some 20 million people dead. During the height of the terror, in the late 1930s, one out of every eight Soviet men, women and children was shot or sent to the gulag - where most died. Until glasnost unlocked the gates to Russia's past, no one could openly write or speak about this vast genocide - one of the great raw wounds of modern history. The Unquiet Ghost is about how people recover from an avalanche of repressed memories. Hochschild talks to prison survivors, democratically minded writers, and retired concentration camp guards. He visits school classrooms where uneasy teachers are struggling to teach students a history totally different from what they taught five years ago. He meets a much persecuted human rights activist - whose first job was as a secret police officer. He visits people searching for traces of missing parents and grandparents; and he examines files on the shelves of the Moscow archives of the KGB. In a section of this book excerpted in The New York Times Magazine, Hochschild visits a small Siberia town where a flooding river tore open a secret mass grave. He meets one woman whose father was buried there, and another, a friend and neighbor, who has learned that her father signed the execution orders. Hochschild visits villages deep in gulag territory, where snow lies on the ground for four months a year and where no American has been before. And, in an extraordinary journey that ends the book, he travels by helicopter to old labor camp sites in Russia's desolate, subarctic gold fields, one of the twentieth century's worst killing grounds. In recounting a history that most Russians only recently have dared to discuss, Hochschild also raises profound questions about the potential victim and the potential executioner inside us all.

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