Joseph Stalin’s Great Terror took the lives of between 12 million and 20 million while millions more languished in the Gulag, freed only after his death in 1953. Yet the dictator remains popular in Russia today.
New York University Professor Stephen Cohen, author of the recently published The Victims Return: Survivors of the Gulag After Stalin (PublishingWorks), and Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the Nation, discuss the historical and present-day factors behind this unsettling sentiment at a public discussion on Tuesday, November 23, 7 p.m. at the NYU Bookstore, 726 Broadway (between Waverly Place and Washington Place).
The free event is part of the NYU Bookstore’s Event Series. For more information, call 212.998.4653 or email email@example.com. Subways: Subways: N, R (8th Street); 6 (Astor Place).
Reporters wishing to attend the event must RSVP to James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In The Victims Return, Cohen, a professor in NYU’s Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, tells the stories of those who survived the dictator’s brutal imprisonment. The work is based on interviews Cohen and vanden Heuvel conducted with former inmates over their 30 years of visiting Moscow. The resulting narrative recounts the prisoners’ post-Gulag fates, from their liberation and return to Soviet society to their long struggle to salvage what remained of their lives and their search for justice.
The New York Times Book Review concludes that Cohen provides “a needed, well-written and compact reminder that Russia is still struggling to reconcile the conflicting narratives of the great crimes in its past, and will continue doing so long after all the victims and perpetrators — often one and the same — are gone.”