Ludwik Kowalski
Professor Emeritus
Montclair State University, NJ
December 2011

This mini-book is a set of notes about how to use Kindle, a very popular ebook reader. The original notes, composed for myself, were poorly organized. Being a retired teacher I decided to turn them into something more coherent, something that might be useful to others. Be aware that there are several models of Kindle, as described at I was experimenting with Kindle Keyboard, purchased in November 2011. I will assume that the reader is already familiar with basic tasks--how to buy a Kindle book and how to read it on the Kindle reader. These tasks are briefly described, for example, at:
Please be aware that I am not trying to compete with the "User's Guide" which came with my Kindle device, or with the very good "Kindle Survival Guide" by Tyle, a Kindle book that I purchased for only $0.99. My notes are limited to tasks which I personally performed. Will they be useful to other beginners? I hope so. How can a retired teacher resist the temptation to teach again? Describing how to create an active table of contents, using MS Word (see Note #10) was a real pedagogical challenge.
Table of Contents
Note 1: Kindle's keys and buttons
Note 2: Kindle's batteries
Note 3: Extracting text from a Kindle book
Note 4: Kindle's wireless channels
Note 5: Private documents on Kindle
Note 6: Archiving my Kindle books
Note 7: Finding a phrase in my Kindle book
Note 8: Grouping Kindle books into collections
Note 9: Reading Kindle books on my computer
Note 10: Writing Kindle books
Note 11: Creating an active Table of Contents
Note 12: For adding new things.

Note 1: Kindle's keys and buttons
Each Kindle has a 5-way controller, a set of five keys used to perform numerous tasks. The controller's four arrow keys--up, down, left and right--are used to select available options; its central key, labeled with a dot, is used to act on what is selected. This is similar to what we do on computers; we select an item, such as a file icon, and act on it, for example, by clicking on the "open" command from the "file" menu. To "act" on a selection usually means to accept it. That is why the dot key is called the OK key, in my notes. It took some time before I became comfortable with performing tasks by using the 5-way controller.

In addition to five keys of the controller (four arrows and the OK key) my Kindle has other keys, such as HOME, MENU, ON/OFF etc. They are also used to perform various tasks. The HOME key, for example, opens the screen displaying titles of purchased books. The NEXT key is used to go to the next page, when I am reading; the PREVIOUS key is used to go to the previous page. The tiny keyboard keys are used for occasional typing. In my notes keys are different from buttons. Unlike keys, which are physical components of my Kindle, buttons are icons on the screen. Names of keys are in upper case letters; names of buttons are in lower case letters, and between quotation marks. We press keys but we click on buttons.

HOME is the key I usually press after turning my Kindle device ON. The screen that opens displays the list of books I purchased. I then select one of these books, with the UP or DOWN arrow key, and click the OK. The book opens and I start reading. During that activity NEXT and PREVIOUS become the most often used keys. The MENU key is used when I want to return to the beginning of the book, or to go to its table of contents. To perform these tasks, after pressing the MENU key, I select the "go to" button and click OK. This produces a display of names of available commands; one of them is "beginning." I select it (with an arrow key) and click OK. This takes me to the beginning of the book. The "table of contents" command, if the author of the book created such a table, is also available. Such a table may be either passive or active. A table is said to be active when titles of chapters or sections are links.

Note 2: How long does a Kindle battery last?
A Kindle battery is expected to be fully charged in about three hours. But how long can I read before the battery becomes discharged? And after how many charging-discharging cycles will a battery stop performing properly? My User's Guide does not answer these questions. But searching for the "battery life" at, I found this piece of information:

"With Kindle Keyboard's long battery life, you can read your Kindle device for up to ten days with wireless on [wireless will be described in Note 5]. Turn wireless off and read for up to one month. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store and downloading content." In other words, turning the wireless off, when not needed, is an effective way to get more reading time from a fully charged battery.

The best way to maximize the usefulness of a fully charged battery is to turn the power switch off when the device is not used. My Kindle automatically goes into the sleep mode, after ten minutes of idleness. But in that mode the screen displays Kindle-generated pictures. I suspect that the advertised "one month" of use, after the battery is fully charged, is based on reading of no more than one hour per day.

Browsing the Internet I read that a typical number of charge-discharge cycles is about 300. Neither the date nor the type of the Kindle battery was specified. Another thing I learned by browsing was that the cost of a rechargeable Lithium Polymer Kindle Battery is close to $30. A video showing how to replace the original battery with a new "extended life" battery can be seen at That battery costs $40; its storage capacity is 1900 mAh instead of the 1350 mAh of the earlier Kindles. The warranty for a Kindle device becomes void if its battery is replaced by the owner, rather than by an authorized dealer.

Note 3: Extracting text from a Kindle book
My Kindle reader uses a folder called "My Clippings." It contains many sub-folders, called "Annotations," one for each book I purchased. Sub-folders that come with books are originally empty. But I can populate them with text fragments, called "highlights," extracted from a book I am reading. Then I can transfer these highlights to my computer. In what follows, I explain how to place a highlight into a book's Annotations, and how to transfer that highlight to my computer.

Suppose while reading a Kindle book, I see a passage worth quoting and saving on my computer. To turn this passage into a highlight I must choose it and click OK. This is accomplished by using the Kindle's 5-way selector. First I navigate to the beginning of the fragment, to select its starting point. Then I accept that point, by pressing the OK key. After that I select the ending point of the fragment and click the OK key again. The fragment becomes a highlight; it is at once saved into the book's Annotations sub-folder. Other highlights can be created in the same way. Note that for a very long fragment I would have to go to a later page (by pressing the "Next" button) to reach the ending, and then click OK.

It is useful to know that a highlight can later be deleted. To do this I choose it (with an arrow key) and press the DEL key (on the tiny keyboard of my Kindle). It is also useful to know that one can see the content of "My Clippings" on the Kindle reader. To accomplish this I press the HOME key, select the "My Clippings" line, and press the OK key again.

But my goal is to bring the content of "My Clippings” to my computer. To accomplish this I connect the computer to my Kindle, with its USB cable. The Kindle becomes an external device of my computer. Its disk-looking icon, named Kindle, appears on the desktop. Clicking on that icon produces a display of icons of four folders. One of them is named "Documents." I open that folder and see a file named "My Clipings.txt." I open it and find my highlights. I copy one of them and paste it into a word processing document. That is the end of the story. Before disconnecting the Kindle from the computer I drag its icon into the trashcan. All my external devices are dismounted in that way.

Note 4: Kindle's Wireless channels

The term "wireless" refers to two methods of exchanging information between my Kindle and the outside world. Books I buy, for example, are delivered to my Kindle wirelessly. Likewise, I shop for them wirelessly in the Kindle store. Two wireless methods are available on my Kindle, the Wi-Fi and the 3G. I use the first method when I am at home, close to my router. The second, slower method, would be used when I am away from home. It is based on the same technology as cell phones. Switching from Wi-Fi to 3G would take place automatically if the router were too far away. Likewise, switching back to Wi-Fi, when I return home, takes place automatically. How do I check which of the two methods is in effect? By pressing the HOME key and by looking at the top line. It displays 3G when I am away from the router or Wi-Fi when I am close to it. The status of the battery, by the way, is graphically displayed in the same line.

To accomplish this, my Kindle was set up to recognize my router at home. But the same can be done at another hotspot, for example, in a foreign country. Here is what I actually did:

a) After pressing HOME key I pressed the MENU key.
b) I selected the "Settings" line and pressed the OK key.
c) I selected the "View" option (next to the "Wi-Fi settings").
d) The list of accessible hotspots appeared on my Kindle screen.
e) I selected my hotspot and clicked the "connect" button.
f) The requested password was then typed, using my tiny keyboard.
g) To end the process I selected the "submit" command, and pressed the OK key.

Naturally, I would not be prompted for the password if the hotspot were public, rather than private. As stated in Note 2, my wireless is usually turned off when it is not needed. This is done to maximize the usefulness of the Kindle battery. The command for turning the wireless on or off appears when the MENU key is pressed

Note 5: Private documents on Kindle

Kindle is primarily a reader of purchased digital books. But it can also be used for other tasks, such as listening to music, browsing the Internet, exchanging email messages, etc., as described in the User's Guide. Let me focus on only one of these tasks. Suppose I receive a set of files that I want to read while on vacation. To accomplish this I can print the files and take the printed text with me. Another option is to transfer them to my laptop, and take the laptop with me. Kindle, which is much smaller than a laptop, offers another possibility I can transfer files to it and read them as if they were purchased books.
The User's Guide, where such transferred files are called "private documents," lists the acceptable formats. My personal experience is limited to doc and pdf files formats. A file can be sent from my computer to my Kindle as an email attachment. This is possible because each registered Kindle has an email address. By sending a file to that address, I am really sending it to a distant computer. The file is at once converted into a Kindle-acceptable format and sent to my device. Naturally, this must be done when my Kindle wireless is turned on.

Reading a converted private document is no different from reading a Kindle book. I press the HOME key, use a vertical arrow key (to select a particular document) and press the OK key. A private document can be kept on my Kindle for as long as I wish. It can also be deleted at any time, as described at the end of Note 6.

Note 6: Archiving my Kindle books

Books which I buy from KDP (Kindle Digital Printing) reside in my reading device. The list of these books can be seen by pressing the HOME key. But suppose the device contains many books, for example, 100 or more. In such a situation, navigation to a book I want to read becomes cumbersome. Fortunately, the already-read books, and books which I plan to read in the distant future, can be removed from my Kindle and placed in my archive, wirelessly. Each Kindle owner has an archive at the KDP website. It is probably a good idea to keep no more than about ten books in my Kindle at any given time.

To place a book in my archive I proceed as follows. First I press the HOME key. The list of my books appears. Then I select a book to be archived and press the left arrow key. This brings the command "remove from the device." The last step is to accept this command, by pressing the OK key. This removes the book from my Kindle and places it into my archive. An archived book can be brought back when needed.

To retrieve a book from my archive, i.e. to bring it back to my reader, I proceed as follows. First I press the HOME key. Then I navigate to the bottom of the list of books, to the line named "archived items." The list of my archived books appears. I navigate to the title of the book I want to bring back. Then I press the right arrow key. The command "add to home" appears. I press the OK key and the command is executed; the chosen book becomes part of my home library again.

It is useful to know that a list of books, either in my home library or in my archive, can be sorted in different ways. The default sorting is "the most recent first." Other options are alphabetically "by title," or "by author." To change the current sorting method I proceed as follows:

(a) I press the HOME key and see the currently chosen way of sorting (at the upper right corner). To change it I select the first line, if it is not already selected.
(b) I press the right arrow key. The line content changes, showing names of other possible ways of sorting.
(c) Using a horizontal arrow I select the new option, for example, "by author," and click the OK key. This resorts the books immediately.

It is also useful to know that only books purchased from KDP can be archived. A private document can be removed but not archived. The process of removing a private document is nearly the same as the process of removing a book. The only difference is what happens in the last step. When a personal document is selected (by using a vertical arrow key), I see the "delete" command, not the "remove from the device" command. The Kindle reader is smart enough to know what is selected. The "delete" command appears when a personal document is chosen; the "remove from the device" appears when a book is chosen.

Note 7: Finding a phrase in my Kindle book

Here is a typical situation. I was reading a Kindle book and I knew that the phrase Victorian Literature appeared somewhere in it. I wanted to open the book in that place. How was this accomplished?

While reading the book I started typing the phrase, using the tiny keyboard. The search box appeared at once at the bottom of the screen. I finished typing the phrase. Then I pressed the right arrow key, to select the "find" command, which was on the right side of the search box. The command was then executed, by pressing the OK key. The phrase was found in two locations. That is why extracts from these locations (results of search) appeared on the screen. Each extract contained the Victorian Literature phrase. Phrases were dark links. By clicking the first link I was able to jump to the first location where the phrase was found. But that was not the place I wanted to jump to. I pressed the BACK key and that took me back to search results. I clicked the second link and this took me to the location I was looking for.

Another way to accomplish the same thing, while reading the book, would be to press the MENU key, to select the "search this book" command (with the vertical arrow key), and to press OK. This always displays the text box in which the desired phrase can be typed. The "find" command is on the right side of that box.

Note 8: Grouping Kindle books into collections

A Kindle book is a file. Most of us know that computer files are often organized into folders. Kindle books can be organized into containers similar to folders. These containers are called collections. I can create a Kindle collection and populate it with books of one kind. Then I can create another collection and populate it with books of a different kind. Suppose the first collection, named Biology, contains 10 books, while the second collection, named Chemistry, contains 20 books. What will I see in the screen after the HOME key is pressed? I will see a list displaying names of my two collections, showing how many books they contain. That is much more convenient than a long list of 30 books. So how do I create collections? How do I populate them with books? And how can I remove books from collections? These questions are answered below.

To create my first collection I pressed the HOME and MENU keys, in that order. Then I selected the "Create new collection" command and pressed the OK key. This prompted me for the name to be given to the collection. I typed the name (using the tiny Kindle keyboard), navigated to the "save" command, and pressed the OK key. The second collection, named differently, was created in the same way. To verify this I pressed the HOME key and saw my two collections listed.

To populate the first collection with three books I proceeded as follows:

(a) I clicked the HOME key and selected the first collection (using the arrow key, as usual).
(b) Then I clicked the OK key. The screen that appeared contained the command named "click to add items to that collection" The command was already selected and I pressed the OK key. The HOME list, displaying my collections, and the still ungrouped books, appeared.
(c) Using the arrow key I selected one book to be added to the first collection. The command "add to this collection" was displayed below the name of the book.
(d) I clicked the OK key. The check mark appeared, on the right side of the book title. That was an indication that the book was placed into the collection. Several other books were added to the first collection in the same way.
(e) Then I used the vertical arrow key and selected the "done" command, at the bottom of the screen. The process was terminated by pressing the OK key.

The second collection was populated with five books in the same way. I then pressed the HOME key and verified that both collections were on the list.

Four useful commands are available to perform tasks on an existing collection, after it is selected (by using the vertical arrow key), and the right arrow key is pressed. The names of these commands: "Open collection", "Add/remove item," "Rename collection," and "Delete collection," are sufficiently descriptive to indicate their function. The word item, in the second command, refers to a book. To see the list of books hidden in a collection I had to open it, executing the "Add/remove item" command (selecting the command and pressing the OK key.) The names of books appeared on the HOME display. I was able to open a book belonging to a collection, and to start reading it, in the usual way, i.e. by selecting it and pressing the OK key.

The Kindle interface, in my opinion, is not as pleasant as the typical interface on a personal computer. The cumbersome way of dealing with collections is a good illustration of this. Dealing with computer folders is more straightforward.

Note 9: Reading Kindle books on my computer

According to the User's Guide, which came with my Kindle reader, Kindle books can also be read on other devices, such as iphone, ipod, ipad, etc. Then I learned that a computer could be one of the devices associated with my account. That attracted my attention; reading a book on a large computer screen is likely to be more convenient than reading it on the small Kindle screen. This turned out to be true, as I was able to verify. The purpose of this note is to describe what I learned about turning a computer into a Kindle reading device. The first thing I did was to download the free "Kindle for Mac" application, from

It is designed to work with Mac OS 10.6 or later. Similar free software is available for other operating systems. I installed the application (version 1.8.1) and started using it. The dialog box appeared, asking for the email address associated with my Amazon account, and for my password. I clicked the "Register" button and the icons of the books I have on my Kindle appeared on the computer screen. (My Kindle device was off at the time. This shows that the KDP system knows what is on my Kindle, even when it is disconnected.)

I clicked on the icon of one book and immediately started reading it. The book opened on the page I was reading two days ago, on my Kindle reader. The white printed page was surrounded by wide black margins. The page-to-page navigation was easy. The "next page" icon appeared when the pointer was on the right margin and the "previous page" appeared when the pointer was on the left margin. But the slow vertical scrolling, available on my computer, is more convenient than jumping from one page (screen) to another.

Most surprising, however, was the horizontal scroll bar, at the bottom of the screen. It allowed me to rapidly navigate over many pages. I wish my Kindle reader had such a bar. It is certainly more convenient than going to the Kindle reader's MENU, and to its "go to" sub-menu to reach the quick navigation commands.

Like other applications on my computer, the Kindle for Mac has a menu bar. A brief examination of commands in the "file" menu was a good indication that tasks performed on a small Kindle reader can also be performed on the computer. Performing them with a mouse and using a normal keyboard are likely to be more desirable than using a 5-way controller. A person who does not have a KDP account can download a Kindle-for-your-computer application, create the account, and start ordering, reading and writing Kindle books. On the other hand, traveling with a small and inexpensive Kindle reader is much more convenient than traveling with a laptop. That is why I think that computers will not replace small Kindle readers. An introduction to Kindle for Mac can be seen at

Can I read my Kindle books on a computer screen without downloading the Kindle for Mac application? Yes, I was able to do this, even on my older Mac (OS-10.5). By using a browser I went to this website:

I was prompted for the password and I typed it in. The list of my Kindle books was immediately displayed on the screen. To practice, I clicked the "Actions" menu, on the right side of the title of one book. Then I clicked on the "Read now" option. The book opened and I was able to read it on my computer screen. To go from page to page I clicked "next" or "previous" buttons, the arrows located on the left and right margins.. To jump to other places I pressed the "Menu" icon, at the top of the screen; it is a picture of a book. The available commands were to go to "cover," "beginning," "table of contents," (if the book has one), and "search box," where I can type a phrase I want to jump to, in this book.

Note 10: Publishing a Kindle book

Are you planning to publish your own Kindle book? If so then you might be interested in this added note. To publish a book one must have an Amazon account. It can be created by going to

and clicking the "Sign Up" button. This amounts to obtaining an ID and a password, needed to "Sign In" at later times, for example to upload the book to be published. Writing a book is likely to be a long process. But publishing it can be quick, as described in [1,2]. The email address of Kindle Customer Service is

The book to be submitted can be in one of several formats; my preference is to submit it as a Word file. Why? Because this format is acceptable by KDP (Kindle Digital Publishing), and because I am familiar with Word (version 2008 for Mac). What follows is a skeleton for a simple manuscript. A book is usually subdivided into sections which I decided to call parts. A chapter, a list of references and a glossary are examples of parts. The illustration below is a skeleton of a book consisting of five parts. Three of these parts are chapters whose titles will be Youth, Traveling the World, and Coming Home. The first and the last parts are extremely short.
Remembering My Past ***
by Ludwik Kowalski ***
--------- < ====== Dashed lines stand for page breaks ***
..........<======= Content of this chapter (many paragraphs) ***
---------------------------------------------------- ***
Traveling The World
..........<===== Content of this chapter (many paragraphs) ***
---------------------------------------------------- ***
Coming Home
.......<==== Content of this chapter (many paragraphs) ***
------------------------------------------------------------------------- ***
Thank you for reading my first Kindle book ***
---------------------------------------------------------------- ***

Parts in a Kindle book must begin with page breaks. Page breaks, like ends of paragraph marks, are innvisible characters in Word. They are represented as dashed lines and ***, respecively. The bold letters, in my illustration, are used to distinguish comments from content of the manuscript. After composing my first book I emailed it to my Kindle, as a private document. This allowed me read it on the Kindle screen before submission. I made some corrections and formally submitted the file (selecting the royalty option, naming the price, etc.). The book became commercially available after less than 24 hours.

Here are some additional details. Following the advice found in [3], I decided to use the font Calibri (size 16) for names of chapters, and the font Times New Roman (size 12) for the content of chapters. Paragraphs in each chapter must be indented, as illustrated in what I am now typing. Parts of the content were italicized or bolded, for emphasis, when needed. A picture was inserted (from a jpg file) by using the dedicated Word command "Picture," from the "Insert" menu. Keep in mind that inserting pictures by dragging them into a text page is likely to create problems, when the Word document is later converted into the Kindle format. Neither the height nor the width of a picture should exceed 1200 pixels.

Let me end this note by addressing the topic of Table of Contents (TOC). This book's TOC is located after the Introduction; it is nothing more than a list of ten titles. In a longer book, and especially in a reference book, the author might wish to offer an active TOC, in which names of parts are clickable links to corresponding contents. A reader would navigate to a TOC title (by using arrow keys) and click on it (by pressing the OK key). The book would "open" on a page where the part begins.

Creating a document with an active TOC was a problem for me. But I finally succeeded, following the description found in [3]. To accomplish this I had to learn about the use of bookmarks and hyperlinks in Word. A hyperlink is an underlined clickable word or phrase. A reader can click on it and jump to another place of the same document. A bookmark is a target destination for a hyperlink. To create an active TOC in Word the author must create bookmarks, such as chap1, chap2, etc. at the beginning of parts. Then s/he is ready to turn an existing passive TOC into an active TOC. This amounts to changing existing titles, such as Chapter One, Chapter2, etc. into hyperlinks. Details, and an illustration, will be described in the next section. To gain experience in using an active TOC go to my own Kindle book (5), or to any other book in which the TOC is active.

Note 11: Creating an active Table of Contents
What follows is a passive TOC; it was created as the first part of my book [5]. In this section I will describe the process of turning this table into an active TOC, in Word. Note that the TOC below has ten parts, seven numbered and three unnumbered.

1 Alaska Notes: Brutality and Violence
2 Reflections
3 More Food For Thought
4 Gruesome Soviet Reality
5 Marxist Ideology In The Soviet Union
6 Closing Observations
7 Contributions

Note that each line begins with a space. I do not know if this is important, but that is what I did. The first step is to invent bookmarks for each part. In my case the ten bookmarks were: introd, chap1,chap2,chap3,chap4,chap5,cap6,chap7, gloss, and ref. Bookmarks must be single words (no blank spaces); all my bookmarks were located at the beginning of targeted parts, that is, next to page breaks of previous parts.

To place the first bookmark I positioned the pointer at the very beginning of the blank line of the targeted part, in this case the Introduction. Then I went to the Insert menu and clicked on the "Bookmark" command. This brought the dialog with two fields. I typed the introd (the name of the first bookmark) into the top field and clicked the ADD button. The remaining bookmarks were created in the same way. Each bookmark was in a dedicated line, the one in the targeted part.

To turn individual lines of the existing TOC into hyperlinks, after creating bookmarks, I proceeded as follows. For the Chapter 6, for example, I first selected (highlighted) the "6 Closing Observations" line. Then I went to the Insert menu and clicked on the "Hyperlink" command. This brought the dialog with three fields. In the lowest field I typed chap6 (name of the existing bookmark for that part). The upper two fields were filled automatically. The top field displayed #chap6 and the middle field displayed "6 Closing Observations." These are the name of the bookmark and the name of the hyperlink aiming at it. Other TOC lines were turned into hyperlinks in the same way.

It is convenient that hyperlinks can be tested in Word. If they work in Word then they work in Kindle as well. Before publishing my book I verified that its display in Kindle was satisfactory, and that its active TOC was working as designed. To accomplish this I sent the ready-to-submit Word file to my Kindle email address (see Note 5 above). Two minutes later the converted document was in my Kindle. Reading it I found several places in which corrections had to be made, in my Word file. I made these corrections and submitted the book (the process of submission was described in Note 10 above). One of the changes I made was to create a hyperlink, named "Return to TOC" at the end of one part. That hyperlink was aiming at the toc bookmark, located in the part containing my table of contents After verifying that the added hyperlink worked well, I copied and pasted it at the end of each part. Let me end this section by showing a finished fragment of my Hell on Earth book [5], using italic characters. It is an illustration consisting of three short parts: (a) the book title, (b) the active TOC, and (c) the introduction. Dash lines, as in the skeleton of Note 10, represent page brakes, which are invisible in Word. Three other invisible components, in this illustration, are:

*** (the end of a paragraph mark)
**toc** (the bookamark for my TOC part, where links are underlined)
**introd** (the bookmark for the Introduction part.)

Ludwik Kowalski ***
Copyright © 2008 ***
ISBN 978-1-60047-232-9 ***
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- ***
Table of contents (each line is a link) ***
Introduction ***
1 Alaska Notes: Brutality and Violence ***
2 Reflections ***
3 More Food For Thought ***
4 Gruesome Soviet Reality ***
5 Marxist Ideology In The Soviet Union ***
6 Closing Observations ***
7 Contributions ***
Glossary ***
References ***
In memory of my father, Marek (Mark Isakovich Kowalski) ***
a naive idealist deceived by propaganda.***
Introduction ***
The idea of writing about Stalinism sprang from an accidental encounter. In July of 2000, while vacationing in Alaska, I noticed a plaque with the name of the Russian town Magadan in an Anchorage souvenir store. That name had been engraved in my memory since 1939, when I was eight years old, living in Russia. The address: "Kolyma, Magadan, Buchta Nagayevo" was where my father, arrested one year earlier, had died in a concentration camp at the age of 36. ****
The plaque we purchased in Anchorage. I interpret the jumping reindeer as the Russian people who suffered so much and who are trying to escape the legacy of their tragic past. Let them never again live under proletarian dictatorship. ***
Not too many Americans know that the number of lives lost in Stalin's death camps in the Magadan area (between 1930 and 1960) was comparable to the number of those wasted in Hitler's Auschwitz. My wife and I purchased the plaque. Oval in shape, it has a white carving of a jumping reindeer against a black background. The young lady who sold us the plaque happened to be from Magadan. She told us that "it is a rapidly growing industrial town. It has a great future. Buchta Nagayevo now has tall buildings and discotheques." At that point I told her why I was interested. ***
She immediately knew what I was referring to and expressed sympathy by giving me a celebratory T-shirt on which "Magadan - 1939-1994 Anniversary" was printed. She also told us that Magadan was a sister city of Anchorage, and suggested I contact City Hall for details. There I found a description of Magadan as a modern town, which used to be a "peaceful village" at the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk. The horrible Stalinist history of the town was not mentioned. This disturbed me. One week later we were in Fairbanks, where The University of Alaska library has a large archive of materials etc. etc. etc. ***
You can return to the Table of Contents
--------------------------------- ***

This is the end of my illustration. The last line above, with the underlined hyperlink, allows the reader to jump to the TOC, after reading the introductory part. The same hyperlink, as I mentioned before, appears at the end of each chapter.

References (for Notes 10 and 11 only)


Thank you to a colleague, Alex F. Burr, a physics teacher from New Mexico, for his constructive criticism of the draft of this mini-book (December 2011).

Note 12: Items to be added later, as I learn more
1) Today is 12/15/2011; this online version of my mini-tutorial, and the Kindle book version of it

are identical. But this online version will be growing; Note 12 and Note 13 were added for future insertions. All together I now have three Kindle books and each of them has a free online version. The other two books are:

*) About USSR history: “Hell on Earth: Brutality And Violence Under The Stalinist Regime”
   or free at:

*) My autobiography: “From Tyranny To Freedom: Diary Of A Former Stalinist “
   or free at:
2) My personal preference, for reading, is (a) traditional print, (b) large computer screen, and (c) Kindle, in that order. But I keep hearing that young people prefer electronic books.

Note 13: Items to be added later, as I learn more
blah blah blah