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Red Closet by Rustam Alexander

Red Closet by Rustam Alexander


Red Closet - The Hidden History of Gay Oppression in the USSR


In 1934, Joseph Stalin enacted sodomy laws, unleashing a wave of brutal detentions of homosexual men in large Soviet cities. Rustam Alexander recounts the compelling stories of people whose lives were directly affected by those laws, including a naive Scottish journalist based in Moscow who dared to write to Stalin in an attempt to save his lover from prosecution, and a homosexual theatre student who came to Moscow in pursuit of a career amid Stalin's harsh repressions and mass arrests. We also meet a fearless doctor in Siberia who provided medical treatment for gay men at his own peril, and a much-loved Soviet singer who hid his homosexuality from the secret police.

Each vignette helps paint the hitherto unknown picture of how Soviet oppression of gay people originated and was perpetuated from Stalin's rule until the demise of the USSR. This book comes at a time when homophobia is again rearing its ugly head under Putin's rule.



  • Details

    Imprint: Manchester University Press

    Publication Date: 23/5/23

    ISBN: 9781526167543

    Pages: 288

    Type: Hardback

Notice to European Customers

All European Customers: You may be required to pay a local import tax on or before delivery for parcels entering the EU. Please check your local import rules for purchases from the UK.


Germany and Republic of Ireland: Due to a high return rate of parcels, we are sadly no longer shipping to Germany and the Republic of Ireland. 

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