Latest Issue

How the Gulag robbed Varlam Shalamov of his humanity

The newly-translated Kolyma Stories describe the unreal cruelty of Soviet labour camps

By Tom Ball  

NKVD photo of Shalamov

Communism is in vogue again. Since all but vanishing from Britain’s political landscape in the 1990s, signs of resurgent support for Marxist-Leninism are now once again clearly manifest in young leftist circles.

Like everything else, politics is subject to the ebb and flow of fashion, and it isn’t a surprise that the teachings of the German economist and his Russian modifiers have been taken up by a new generation. More surprising, perhaps, was a series of tweets about the Gulag put out a couple of weeks ago…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect