A lively exchange within the Quadrant circle erupted a few years ago between Robert Conquest and Paul Monk (backed by the historian Stephen G. Wheatcroft). It was in 1999-2000. The controversy grew out of an article by Monk titled “Moral and Statistical Reckoning”, which argued that in his historic book of 1968, The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties, Conquest had over-estimated the number of people killed in Stalin’s Gulag. Drawing on all available sources including Soviet records (and not merely reports of the “Moscow trials” which accounted for comparatively few victims), Conquest had estimated that the total number…
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