Word of the day #1

Taken from Orlando Figes’ book The Whisperers.
I’m two-thirds through this absorbing history of Stalin’s USSR from the viewpoints of the people who endured it. The Whisperers is engrossing in its tales of horror but mostly by virtue of the volume of individual stories portraying the true scale of the catastrophe of Stalinism. Judging by this feature in today’s Guardian it is also a very timely read.