Monthly Archives: February 2015

Gulag: And You Thought the Nazis Were Bad

Prisoners working at the Kolyma gold mine

Right now I am reading through Anne Applebaum’s work entitled Gulag: A History. The book is a comprehensive study of the system of prison labor camps that spread throughout the Soviet Union during the rule of the communist government. Subject to harsh winters, long hours, little food, and brutal administrators, workers in the Gulag lived their lives in fear. Applebaum has done an amazing job of taking massive amounts of information and placing it into an easy to comprehend book.

When faced with an incomprehensible amount of raw data, researchers are left to find meaning and make connections that others have not. Applebaum spent countless hours in archives, at the camps, and talking to survivors just gathering data. That is our duty as researchers. Taking what I have learned about writing and research in COMP 250 and applying those skills to historical work will lead me to becoming a more disciplined and credible scholar.