Study Guide

Gulag: A History - Part 1, Chapter 1: Bolshevik Beginnings—Summary Summary & Analysis

Anne Applebaum
This Study Guide consists of approximately 50 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Gulag.
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Part 1, Chapter 1: Bolshevik Beginnings—Summary

In 1917, two revolutions swept across Russia. Czar Nicholas II abdicated rule in February of that year, ending the Czarist regime. The first post-revolutionary Provisional Government, led by Alexander Kerensky, was weak and dissatisfaction among the citizens was high. Despite this, Applebaum argues that few expected the Bolsheviks, a radical socialist party, to seize control of the government following an October 25 coup against the provisional government. Vladimir Illyich Ulyanov, better known by his revolutionary pseudonym, Lenin, became the new leader of Soviet Russia.

Against this backdrop, the first Soviet labor camps were created. Soon after taking power, Lenin identified a new kind of "criminal:" the class enemy. "A class enemy opposed the Revolution, and worked openly, or more often secretly, to destroy it" (p. 5). Because a precise definition of the class enemy was never provided, people could...

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This section contains 555 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Gulag: A History Study Guide
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