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A rare first-person testimony of the hardships of a Soviet labor camp―long suppressed―that will become a cornerstone of understanding the Soviet Union.Originally written in a couple of humble exercise books, which were anonymously donated to the Memorial Human Rights Centre in Moscow, this remarkable diary is one of the few first-person accounts to survive the sprawling Soviet prison system.
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Ivan Chistyakov was a Muscovite who was expelled from the Communist Party during the purges of the late 1920s and early 1930s. He commanded an armed guard unit on a section of BAM, the Baikal-Amur Mainline, which was built by forced labor. He was killed in 1941.
Arch Tait was awarded the PEN Literature in Translation prize in 2010 for his translation of Anna Politkovskaya's Putin's Russia. To date he has translated twenty-seven books from Russian, most recently the memoirs of Akhmed Zakayev.Review:
“Lacking the overt arc of a plotted narrative, this diary nonetheless conveys the increasing hopelessness of life at a forced-labor camp. Chistyakov provides a singular account from a category of gulag witnesses whose voices have rarely been heard―those who were neither the main victims nor the instigators of a brutal system but its unwilling enforcers, doomed to bit parts in both roles.”
- Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A chilling, revealing diary of a reluctant gulag prison guard. A singular crack inside the gulag system.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“Straightforward and ever-interesting.”
- Publishers Weekly
“Owing to its relative scarcity, a diary from a guard at a Gulag during Joseph Stalin’s Soviet reign will attract readers and researchers seeking primary documents from that era.”
- Library Journal
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Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 30937478-n
Book Description Pegasus Books, 2018. Paperback. Condition: BRAND NEW. Seller Inventory # 1681777614_abe_bn
Book Description Condition: New. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 87192
Book Description Pegasus Books, 2018. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. reprint edition. 288 pages. 9.00x6.00x0.50 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # 1681777614