Cover image for The Gulag after Stalin
Title:
The Gulag after Stalin
Author:
Hardy, Jeffrey S., 1978- author.
ISBN:
9781501706042
Publication Information:
London : Cornell University Press, 2016. (Baltimore, Md. : Project MUSE, 2015)
Physical Description:
1 online resource (pages cm)
Series:
Book collections on Project MUSE.
Contents:
A Gulag without Stalin -- Restructuring the penal empire: administration, institutions, and demographics -- Reorienting the aims of imprisonment: production, re-education, and control -- Oversight and assistance: the role of the procuracy and other outside agencies in penal operations -- Undoing the reforms: the campaign against "liberalism" in the Gulag -- A Khrushchevian synthesis: the birth of the late Soviet penal system -- Khrushchev's reforms and the late (and post-) Soviet gulag.
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Summary

Summary

In The Gulag after Stalin , Jeffrey S. Hardy reveals how the vast Soviet penal system was reimagined and reformed in the wake of Stalin's death. Hardy argues that penal reform in the 1950s was a serious endeavor intended to transform the Gulag into a humane institution that reeducated criminals into honest Soviet citizens. Under the leadership of Minister of Internal Affairs Nikolai Dudorov, a Khrushchev appointee, this drive to change the Gulag into a "progressive" system where criminals were reformed through a combination of education, vocational training, leniency, sport, labor, cultural programs, and self-governance was both sincere and at least partially effective. The new vision for the Gulag faced many obstacles. Reeducation proved difficult to quantify, a serious liability in a statistics-obsessed state. The entrenched habits of Gulag officials and the prisoner-guard power dynamic mitigated the effect of the post-Stalin reforms. And the Soviet public never fully accepted the new policies of leniency and the humane treatment of criminals. In the late 1950s, they joined with a coalition of party officials, criminologists, procurators, newspaper reporters, and some penal administrators to rally around the slogan "The camp is not a resort" and succeeded in reimposing harsher conditions for inmates. By the mid-1960s the Soviet Gulag had emerged as a hybrid system forged from the old Stalinist system, the vision promoted by Khrushchev and others in the mid-1950s, and the ensuing counterreform movement. This new penal equilibrium largely persisted until the fall of the Soviet Union.