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The term Gulag refers to the Communist Soviet forced labor camps. Between 1958 and 1968, Russian novelist and historian, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote a three-volume novel about life in the Gulag called The Gulag Archipelago. Solzhenitsyn used his own experiences as well as first hand testimony from over 200 of his fellow prisoners. Despite attempts from the Soviet government to destroy the original texts, the books originally circulated as an underground publication in 1973. It wasn't until 2009 that the books became a mandatory part of the Russian school curriculum.