The past several years have witnessed a resurgence of interest in the Soviet penal system, commonly known by its Stalin-era acronym, Gulag. Announcements for new books, articles, special journal issues, and conferences appear regularly, and scholars are taking advantage of newly available archival documents and thousands of published and unpublished memoirs, among other materials. This edited volume, much of which was already published in “The Soviet Gulag: New Research and New Interpretations”—a special issue of Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, XVI (2015), 469–728—is just the latest in a flurry of recent scholarly activity.

The chapters in this volume are broken into two sections, the first containing seven chapters of “Evidence and Interpretation.” Major themes include sickness and mortality, along with the blurry line between “the Gulag and the non-Gulag,” to borrow Oleg Khlevniuk’s chapter title. Just a few of these chapters go beyond traditional historical research. Dan...

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