Stalin's Long Shadow

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Renowned historian Orlando Figes has shed fresh light on the darkest chapter of Russian history — the 25-year reign of Joseph Stalin, from the late 1920s to his death in 1953.

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.
-Jack Beatty


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.


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