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The Gulag After StalinRedefining Punishment in Khrushchev's Soviet Union, 1953-1964$
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Jeffrey S. Hardy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702792

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702792.001.0001

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A Gulag Without Stalin

A Gulag Without Stalin

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction A Gulag Without Stalin
Source:
The Gulag After Stalin
Author(s):

Jeffrey S. Hardy

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501702792.003.0001

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book argues that the post-Stalin leadership, having inherited a massive, inefficient, violent, and corrupt penal system, engaged in a serious and substantive reforming effort bent on transforming the Soviet Gulag both quantitatively and qualitatively. In order to make proper sense of Khrushchev-era reforms in the penal sector, this book places them within three broader narratives. First, they were just one part, albeit a very important and lasting part, of an extensive reformist program instituted by Stalin's heirs and Khrushchev in particular. Second, they were part of a global postwar penal transition toward rehabilitation and greater leniency and respect for inmates. Finally, Khrushchev's Gulag should be understood within the broader context of Soviet crime and punishment, particularly in relation to the Stalin-era Gulag.

Keywords:   Stalin, Soviet penal system, penal reform, Gulag, penal system, Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev

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