Just to start the conversation, I’d like to mention how rich and multi-faceted Steve’s book is, and how useful the various short and long discussions on many aspects of the Gulag are. For instance, the section titled “Hierarchy of Detention: The Institutions of the Gulag” is a thorough and clearly-written several page discussion about all the relevant Gulag institutions. Going along with his idea that prisoners were sorted out according to their presumed redeemability, he lists, from most severe to least: execution, prisons, katorga camp divisions and special camps, corrective labor camps, special settlements and corrective labor colonies. Within each of these categories, he clearly sets out a compact descriptive history. I am so grateful to have this spelled out so brilliantly (for myself) and I can’t wait to have my students in the Soviet Gulag class use this resource.
What I don’t like about Steve’s book is…the lack of photos. Where are they? I so much wanted to see Dolinka that I found this on the internet. I hope it’s the right one. The title is “Karlag Museum, Dolinka, Kazakhstan.” The prose in the book is very descriptive, but I needed a visual.