44 Lenin Avenue

A researcher's journey to Siberia

Stalin’s Gulag at War

My book, Stalin’s Gulag at War: Forced Labour, Mass Death, and Soviet Victory in the Second World War, was published in December 2018 (2019 imprint) with the University of Toronto Press. The idea for the 44 Lenin Avenue project came out of a research trip to Siberia, long ago, that eventually resulted in Stalin’s Gulag at War. This page has some resourced related to the book.

  • Stalin’s Gulag at War benefits from [Bell’s] remarkable facility at combining carefully sourced empirical research with analytical verve to produce field-shaping knowledge.” – Steven A. Barnes, Russian Review.


  • “Bell’s meticulous research shows that Stalinism attempted to create a well-ordered rational system, but instead created one where everyone was breaking some type of rule or regulation.” – J. Arch Getty, Slavic Review


  •  “Bell notes the circulation of functions and personnel within the region’s camps, integration of the camps within the settlement geography of the region (i.e., their comparative lack of isolation), and the porosity of borders between camp and noncamp spheres. Despite the seeming geographic isolation of Western Siberia behind the Ural Mountains—far from the front-lines of active fighting—Bell demonstrates that the camp system was thoroughly integrated into wartime mobilization and production efforts, even if civilian production would likely have been more efficient and less costly in lives and resources.” – Maria Taylor, Journal of Urban History

The best place to purchase the book (or to request an examination copy, if you’re thinking of adopting it for the classroom), is the press website: Stalin’s Gulag at War, University of Toronto Press.

You can also purchase the book at some on-line retailers, such as Indigo Books or, of course, Amazon.

There aren’t that many non-academic reader reviews out there, but check out GoodReads, for a few.