The Great Purge and the Gulag rank with the 20th century's worst crimes. The numbers — the 700,000 shot in one year during the purge, the 25 million sent to the Gulag — numb understanding.
In his new book, "The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia," Orlando Figes makes the terrible story new.
This hour, On Point: an up close and personal look at ordinary Stalinism.
Orlando Figes, professor of history at the University of London and author of the new book "The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia."
This program aired on November 14, 2007.