The Unquiet Ghost

The Unquiet Ghost

Russians Remember Stalin

Book - 1994
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Baker & Taylor
Explores how Russians are healing the wounds inflicted by long-repressed memories of the former leader and recounts the efforts of many to locate relatives who disappeared during Stalin's tenure

Book News
Russian-speaking writer Hochschild moved his family to the former Soviet Union for the first half of 1991, in order to research the horror of Stalin's reign and to interview survivors. Among his motivations and themes how societies, like individuals, must come to terms with a painful past, and how the impulses for good and evil lie closely together, e.g. the utopian wish and the wish for total power, and the impulses of the executioner and the victim. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
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.

& Taylor

Explores how Russians--prison survivors, historians, concentration camp guards, and others--are healing the wounds inflicted by long-repressed memories of the former leader and recounts the efforts of many to locate relatives who disappeared during Stalin's tenure.

Publisher: New York : Viking, c1994
ISBN: 9780670840915
Branch Call Number: 947.084 HOC
Characteristics: xxvii, 304p. : ill. ; 24cm


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