Monthly Archives: October 2011

A Priest Contemplates Gagarin’s Feat

Here is a painting entitled “Meditation,” which was done in 1964 by Pyotr Mikhailov. It is from the old Leningrad Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.  In it a priest … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Russian and Soviet Art, Soviet and Russian Space Flight, Soviet Era 1917-1991 | 10 Comments

The Full Weight of the Law

The Imperial Russian government produced an immense volume of paperwork. In a recent article on the Russian “Graphosphere” (that is to say, the world of writing) in the early 19th century, Simon Franklin notes that as many as 30 million … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Gulag Boss: On Truths and Silences

First, thanks to all the contributors to this discussion. Honestly, it has to this point exceeded my expectations. The intellectual content has been high, the questions thought-provoking, and the traffic heavy. For a moment, I want to dwell on the … Continue reading

Posted in Gulag, Gulag Boss | 5 Comments

Gulag Boss, Good Boss

Mochulsky comes across fairly positively in his account, even if today’s reader is frequently frustrated by his lack of introspection and personal accountability. He is remarkably resourceful at problem solving, and seems genuinely concerned with the physical well being of … Continue reading

Posted in Gulag Boss | 4 Comments

Gulag Boss: Some thoughts

Thank you Steve, for organizing this incredible blog, and for choosing to begin with Gulag Boss. It’s an honor to have so many scholars I admire read this book and comment on it. You are right: this is so much … Continue reading

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Gulag Boss and Room 101

Thanks, Steve, for pulling this conversation together. And thanks, Deborah, for bringing Mochulsky’s memoir to a broad audience.  There’s just nothing like it out there. As I was reading Mochulsky’s fascinating and gripping memoir, I kept returning to a line … Continue reading

Posted in Gulag Boss | 5 Comments

Gulag Boss – Mochulsky and Gulag Space

Thank you, Steve, for organizing this group discussion and for inviting me to participate! No doubt one of the more interesting points of inquiry will be to assess Mochulsky’s role and behavior as a “perpetrator,” and Deborah Kaple eludes to … Continue reading

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Gulag Boss: Scribblings

Deborah Kaple’s publication of Gulag Boss: A Soviet Memoir is a real achievement and a significant contribution to the burgeoning field of gulag studies. Mochulsky’s memoir presents a rare first-person description of the gulag by an NKVD employee working on … Continue reading

Posted in Gulag, Gulag Boss | 9 Comments

Gulag Boss – Railroad, Region, and Memory

First of all, thanks to Steve for including me in this remarkable forum, and thanks to all the other participants for their insightful comments about the book.  Clearly the blog provides an opportunity for a different kind of scholarly interchange … Continue reading

Posted in Gulag Boss | 6 Comments

Gulag Boss – Administration and Complicity

Gulag Boss is clearly a valuable contribution to the growing body of Gulag literature.  For decades our understanding of the Gulag was informed almost exclusively by prisoner memoirs.  Then in the 1990s and 2000s came the archival revolution, which provided … Continue reading

Posted in Gulag Boss | 14 Comments

Gulag Boss – A Blog Conversation

Welcome to the first Russian History Blog conversation. If you have not, do take a quick look at my introduction to these Blog Conversations. In this post, I want to introduce briefly the subject of our discussion and provide a … Continue reading

Posted in Blog Conversations, Gulag, Gulag Boss, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Article about my Gagarin book

Just a brief post on an article from my university about my forthcoming Gagarin book. My reference in the interview to the International Astronomical Society should be the International Aeronautical Federation.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Blog Conversations

Starting Wednesday, Russian History Blog will host what hopefully will be the first in a series of blog conversations. On Wednesday, I will provide a more formal introduction to this particular blog conversation (on the new memoir Gulag Boss), but … Continue reading

Posted in Blog Conversations, Digital Russian History, Gulag, Gulag Boss | 3 Comments

Most unexpected appearance of an anarchist EVER

Here’s a quick link to the blog of a former colleague of mine, Sarah Young.  In this one, she’s discovered what has to be the strangest appearance of an anarchist, ever, in the pages of a magazine aimed at British … Continue reading

Posted in Imperial Russia | 2 Comments

Completeness or lack thereof

I’m thrilled to see John’s post, because he brings up a point that I’ve been thinking about a lot, too–the incompleteness of the supposedly complete. I also came to think about it through the 18th century, and through RGADA (the … Continue reading

Posted in Imperial Russia, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

My Favorite Laws

In my first post, I promised to blog about life on Russia’s roads in the eighteenth-century, and also about the “after-life” of the Russian Empire, as it is finding expression in the digital realm. Here’s something that combines a little … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Transnational History and Space Flight

Having finally finished my biography of Yuri Gagarin (The Cosmonaut Who Couldn’t Stop Smiling: The Life and Legend of Yuri Gagarin, due out in March with Northern Illinois University Press) I’m trying to figure out my next project. This blog … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Russia in World History, Soviet and Russian Space Flight, Soviet Era 1917-1991 | 13 Comments