The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia Volume 5: The Years of Hunger: Soviet Agriculture 1931-1933

The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia Volume 5: The Years of Hunger: Soviet Agriculture 1931-1933

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by R. Davies, S. Wheatcroft
     
 

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This is the first comprehensive survey of the grim years of the Soviet famine to be based on formerly secret and top secret Russian and Ukrainian archives. It considers the famine against the background of the long-term and medium term factors which led to the agricultural crisis, and assesses the extent to which the famine was 'organized' or 'artificial'. Its

Overview

This is the first comprehensive survey of the grim years of the Soviet famine to be based on formerly secret and top secret Russian and Ukrainian archives. It considers the famine against the background of the long-term and medium term factors which led to the agricultural crisis, and assesses the extent to which the famine was 'organized' or 'artificial'. Its conclusions are very different from those of many other historians, such as Robert Conquest, who had argued previously that the 1933 famine was a deliberate political act. This paperback edition includes a new preface discussing recent controversies about the famine.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'A truly remarkable contribution to research into this important field.' - Robert Conquest, Hoover Institution

Reviews of The Soviet Economy in Turmoil, 1929-1930 (volume 3 of the Industrialisation of Soviet Russia)

'Like the first two volumes in this series, this volume is a model of vigorous scholarship. Davies' research is impeccable, and simply unsurpassed in Western Sovietology. The writing is clear and often gripping.' - Lynne Viola, Russian History

'If the purpose of understanding the past is to better understand the present, then this book will be important reading for all interested in the Soviet industrialisation process and both its short-term and long-term outcomes. This book is a worthy fourth volume to the Industrialisation of Soviet Russia series. It is surely destined to become the standard work on its subject.' - Robert C. Stuart, American Historical Review

'This volume enormously enhances our understanding of Stalin's great breakthrough. Surely this is required reading for all concerned with the Stalin years.' - Hirokai Kuromiya, Russian Review

Reviews of Crisis and Progress in the Soviet Economy, 1931-1933 (volume 4 of the Industrialisation of Soviet Russia)

'Davies thus manages to convey not only the substance but also the passion of policymaking, not only the (generally) failing living standards of most soviet citizens but also their strategies for coping when they could cope; and not only the amplitudes of production but also the texture of the time. The complimentary volume on agriculture is eagerly awaited.' - Lewis Siegelbaum, The Russian Review

'With his usual calm approach, free of politicising, the author, firmly grounded in his subject, describes in detail all the main aspects of the economic history of the three years in which Soviet society survived another crisis and the foundations were laid for future economic growth.' - Svobodnaya mysl (Moscow)

'Robert Davies is unquestionably among the most prolific and distinguished scholars in the field of history and the leading authority on Soviet industrialisation. His multi-volume history of the Soviet economy during the 1930s is not only a mammoth undertaking, but one of great importance to our understanding of Stalinism and Soviet history more generally.' - David L. Hoffmann

'...Davies has made another enormous contribution to our understanding of Soviet industrialisation. We eagerly look forward to future volumes in this series.' - David L. Hoffmann, Slavic Review

'... anyone who wants to follow in detail the economic and demographic history of the rural transformation of Soviet Russia can do no better than consult this magisterial volume.' - Peter Gatrell, Business History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780230238558
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication date:
03/02/2010
Edition description:
2004
Pages:
555
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

R. W. DAVIES is Emeritus Professor of Soviet Economic Studies in the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham, UK, of which he was the foundation director. He has published many books and articles on Soviet history, including Soviet History in the Gorbachev Revolution, Soviet History in the Yeltsin Era, Soviet Economic Development from Lenin to Khrushchev, and four previous volumes in the series The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia. He collaborated with E. H. Carr on vols. 9 and 10 of The History of Soviet Russia. He is an honorary life member of the British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies.

STEPHEN G. WHEATCROFT is Professor in Russian and Soviet History at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where he was the First Director of the Centre for Russian and Euroasian Studies. He has written many articles on agriculture and population in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.

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The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia Volume 5: The Years of Hunger: Soviet Agriculture 1931-1933 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
willyvan More than 1 year ago
In this remarkable book, Davies and Wheatcroft describe and analyse the dreadful famine in the Soviet Union in 1931-33. They show that 1931 saw an unusually cold spring, delaying the sowing, and unusually hot weather in May, June and July, bringing a drought and cutting grain yields. 1932's March was even colder than 1931's, May and June even hotter. They note that in February 1933 "the Politburo authorised the issue of over 800,000 tons of grain as seed to North Caucasus, Ukraine, the Lower-Volga Region, Urals and Kazakhstan; and a further 400,000 tons was issued before the end of the spring sowing. . Between February and July no fewer than thirty-five Politburo decisions and Sovnarkom decrees - all secret or top-secret - authorised in total the issue of 320,000 tons of grain for food." This included 194,000 tons of food aid for Ukraine. A total of 'nearly 2 million tons' was issued for seed, food and fodder. Davies and Wheatcroft provide detailed data on the state's seed, food and fodder loans and aid between February and July 1933 in their Tables 22, 23 and 24. They also show that "Considerable efforts were made to supply grain to hungry children." They conclude that Robert Conquest was wrong to assert that Stalin 'wanted a famine', that 'the Soviets did not want the famine to be coped with successfully' and that the Ukrainian famine was 'deliberately inflicted for its own sake'. Their book refutes the big lie that the famine was a holocaust of the people of Ukraine.