407 pp. volume on the construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal through convict labor, originally called the Stalin White Sea-Baltic Canal (Belomorsko-Baltiiskii Kanal Imeni Stalina), which was constructed by forced labor from gulag inmates from 1931 to 1933. Illustrated profusely throughout with reproductions from photographs and drawings by Aleksandr Rodchenko, and two color maps, several illustrations folding, and gelatin photograph of Stalin as frontispiece. Large 4to. Original cloth with embossed brass portrait of Stalin mounted to front cover. Some minor abrasions and rubbing, soiling, overall very good. Moscow (Gos. Izd. "Istoriia Fabrik i Zavodov") 1934.
The White Sea-Baltic Canal opened on August 2, 1933, connecting the White Sea, in the Arctic Ocean, with Lake Onega, which is connected to the Baltic Sea, and runs for a total of 141 miles, 30 of which are man-made. According to various records, approximately 12,000-25,000 gulag prisoner-laborers died during construction. This was the first major project constructed in the Soviet Union using forced labor. Important avant-garde artist and photographer Aleksandr Rodchenko worked secretly for the Soviet authorities as the only "civil" photographer on site, to photograph and glorify this project. He later drafted the design of the propaganda illustrated magazine "USSR in Construction" in December 1933, and was responsible for the illustration and design of this volume. Prison labor camp projects were not usually publicized, but this particular project was thought to have rehabilitating effects on the workers and it accordingly had quite a PR campaign advertising the efficacy of "corrective labor" Book ID: 48870