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Keeping faith with the Party - Nanci Adler

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Keeping faith with the Party - Communist believers return from the Gulag
Nanci Adler
Paperback / softback
Indiana University Press
UK Publication Date

How is it that some prisoners of the Soviet gulag-many of them falsely convicted-emerged from the camps maintaining their loyalty to the party that was responsible for their internment? In camp, they had struggled to survive. Afterward they struggled to reintegrate with society, reunite with their loved ones, and sometimes renew Party ties. Based on oral histories, archives, and unpublished memoirs, Keeping Faith with the Party chronicles the stories of returnees who professed enduring belief in the CPSU and the Communist project. Nanci Adler's probing investigation brings a deeper understanding of the dynamics of Soviet Communism and of how individuals survive within repressive regimes while the repressive regimes also survive within them.

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Nanci Adler is Associate Professor at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the University of Amsterdam. She is author of The Gulag Survivor: Beyond the Soviet System, Victims of Soviet Terror: The Story of the Memorial Movement, and numerous scholarly articles on the gulag, political rehabilitations, and the consequences of Stalinism.

"Through her own interviews with survivors, as well as an examination of published and unpublished memoirs, Adler astutely argues that these experiences are important for understanding how and why the memory of Stalin's Terrror and the Gulag remains ambivalent today. . . . Recommended."


"Nanci Adler continues her impressive research into life after the Gulag in her latest monograph, Keeping Faith with the Party. . . . In the burgeoning field of Gulag studies, Adler's book is a welcomed reminder that we still have much to learn from the memoirs themselves, even as we continue to mine the archives for useful information."

The Russian Review

"Adler's book is bustling with creativity and ideas. It is a welcome addition to the excellent scholarship on this period for anyone with an interest in trauma, memory and the search for a useable past."

European History Quarterly

"Adler's insightful analyses of the views and attitudes of Communist camp survivors not just demonstrate, but help to understand the profound effects of Soviet ideology on those who had adopted it. They underscore that a central source of the Soviet system's power, stability, and tenacity lay in the immaterial promise inherent in this ideology - the promise of answers to individuals' quest for meaning and purpose."


"In sum, this is a beautifully written book that should be read by all serious scholars of the post-Stalin Soviet Union."

Slavic Review

"With a deft and sympathetic touch, Adler paints vivid portraits of survivors who made sense of their own fate by clinging to a belief in the worthiness of the Communist cause and the virtue of the Soviet Communist Party."

Gulag Studies

Keyword Index
Ex-convicts - Soviet Union.|Ex-convicts - Soviet Union - Attitudes.
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