Hoover fellow describes life under the Soviet police state
Harrison, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, draws on Soviet Communist Party and secret police records housed at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives. In his work, he describes how people became entangled in the workings of Soviet rule.
Harrison describes the changes the Soviet police state underwent from the 1930s to the 1970s. He outlines the seven basic principles on which that police state operated during its history, from the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
ROBERT SERVICE, a senior fellow at Hoover and expert on the Soviet Union, said: “This is a very different book about the USSR. It tells everyday stories about how the ordinary secret policemen interacted with ordinary citizens and shows us the pathos, the arbitrariness and even the sometimes comical side of a system of pervasive oppression.”
Although well-known Soviets appear in Harrison’s stories, the central characters are people who will have been remembered only within their families. These tales, chosen for their humanity and inhumanity, offer a glimpse of the inner workings of one of the world’s most effective and durable police states.