RUSSIAN PURGE AND THE EXTRACTION OF CONFESSION by

RUSSIAN PURGE AND THE EXTRACTION OF CONFESSION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A very detached documentary of the great purge which extended from 1936 to 1939 under the Iron Commissar Yezhov, at the time when clean-ups and check-ups were intensified to include all classes of the population. The authors, who were victims, maintain an impassive objectivity as they itemize the technique of interrogation, the conditions of prison life, the sentences imposed, the categories of prisoners (whether party officials, old bolsheviks, political convicts, or technicians, foreigners, foreign agents, etc.), and the part played by the NKVD. Three cases reported in detail, that of a cellmate (a professor of ancient history whose criticism of Joan of Arc prompted his arrest) and of two others he know, and the many theories about the purge complete a subdued, systematic record of a reign of terror.

Publisher: Viking