Russia's Penal Colony in the Far East: A Translation of Vlas Doroshevich's "Sakhalin"

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Anthem Press, Jul 1, 2011 - History - 514 pages
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'Russia's Penal Colony in the Far East: A Translation of Vlas Doroshevich's "Sakhalin"' is the first English language translation of the Russian journalist Vlas Doroshevich's 1903 account of his visit to tsarist Russia's largest penal colony, Sakhalin, in the north Pacific. Despite the publication of Anton Chekhov's account of his visit to Sakhalin in 1890, many Russians remained unaware of the brutality and savagery of the 'devil island'. In 1897 Doroshevich, Russia's most popular journalist, travelled to Sakhalin and spent three months touring the island, interviewing numerous prisoners and officials, and recording his impressions. The feuilletons he wired back to his publishers were eventually collected and published in book form in 1903, under the title 'Sakhalin' (Katorga).

Doroshevich's book was enormously popular when it first appeared, and it continues to be published in Russia, as a historical record of the striking barbarity of late nineteenth century penal practices. Despite this popularity, it has never before been translated into English, and Doroshevich remains largely unknown outside Russia. This translation introduces English-language readers to an important writer and original stylist who defined journalistic practice during the years leading up to the 1917 Revolution, by way of a book which helps explain the causes for that revolution.

 

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Contents

OOOICTUPQQID
3
The Homeowners
70
Reztsov
72
Freemen on Sakhalin
74
The Katorga Theater
85
Katorga Actors
92
The Brodiaga Sokolsky
95
Crimes in Korsakovsk District
98
Matveys Trouble
196
The IndefinitelySentenced Probationer Glovatsky
198
Katorga Types
203
Initiation into the Penal Laborers
216
Educated Persons in Katorga
222
Talma on Sakhalin
228
The Card Game
232
Katorgas Laws
236

Departure
100
Real Katorga
103
The Capital of Sakhalin
109
Aleksandrovsk Post
113
Sentenced to Penal Labor
118
Who Runs Katorga?
130
Prison Wardens
147
The Death Penalty
152
Executioners
165
Corporal Punishments
174
Katorgas Ways
183
The Language of Katorga
241
Katorga Songs
247
Katorga and Religion
253
Sectarians on Sakhalin Island
259
Criminals and Crimes
266
Criminals and Justice From Observations on Sakhalin
277
Katorga Labors of a Konovalova
281
in Derbinsk Settlement
444
Bibliography
475
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Andrew A. Gentes is Lecturer in History at the University of Queensland.

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