Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Soviet Memoir - New Books in History

Here is yet another warm recommendation for New Books In History, Marsahll Poe's weekly podcast in which he interviews the author of a recently published book in history. (feed)

This week he spoke with Deborah Kaple about her book Gulag Boss, a Soviet Memoir. While Kaple was in Moscow for research on another project, she ran into Fyodor Vasilevich Mochulsky who had been a boss in a Gulag work camp and had written his experiences down. He had tried to find a publisher for it, but to no avail. Kaple translated and delivered some additional material to the work of Mochulsky.

The interview (and the book obviously) give a very fine insight in the workings of Soviet society, of the NKVD and the Gulag camps. Mochulsky is a faithful and dedicated communist yet also has to find his way between strict obedience and proper treatment of the prisoners. The prisoners, by the way, are not just men and not just political prisoners, making for a very challenging environment for Mochulsky to run the camp.

More NBIH:
This I accomplish,
Not your idea of World War II,
When Akkadian was Lingua Franca,
The 1910 Paris flood,
Stasi agents and informants.
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