AN ECONOMIST BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag and the National Book Award finalist Iron Curtain, a revelatory history of one of Stalin's greatest crimes—the consequences of which still resonate today
In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization—in effect a second Russian revolution—which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least five million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR. But instead of sending relief the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum argues that more than three million of those dead were Ukrainians who perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill them. Devastating and definitive, Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evil.
Today, Russia, the successor to the Soviet Union, has placed Ukrainian independence in its sights once more. Applebaum’s compulsively readable narrative recalls one of the worst crimes of the twentieth century, and shows how it may foreshadow a new threat to the political order in the twenty-first.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Date of Birth:July 25, 1964
Place of Birth:Washington, D.C.
Education:B.A., Yale University, 1986; M.Sc., London School of Economics, 1987; St. Antony¿s College, Oxford
Read an Excerpt
Excerpted from "Red Famine"
Copyright © 2018 Anne Applebaum.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations xi
List of Maps xiii
A Note on Transliteration xxiv
Introduction: The Ukrainian Question 1
1 The Ukrainian Revolution, 1917 11
2 Rebellion, 1919 40
3 Famine and Truce, The 1920s 56
4 The Double Crisis, 1927-9 81
5 Collectivization: Revolution in the Countryside, 1930 112
6 Rebellion, 1930 139
7 Collectivization Fails, 1931-2 159
8 Famine Decisions, 1932: Requisitions, Blacklist and Borders 186
9 Famine Decisions, 1932: The End of Ukrainization 205
10 Famine Decisions, 1932: The Searches and the Searchers 222
11 Starvation: Spring and Summer, 1933 241
12 Survival: Spring and Summer, 1933 262
13 Aftermath 278
14 The Cover-Up 296
15 The Holodomor in History and Memory 320
Epilogue: The Ukrainian Question Reconsidered 346
Selected Bibliography 421
Image Credits 435
Reading Group Guide
1. What is the most surprising revelation in Red Famine? Why were you surprised?
2. Talk about Stalin’s policy of agricultural collectivization and how it contributed to the Ukrainian famine.
3. Beyond the famine, what other tactics did Stalin use to punish Ukrainian national identity and independence?
4. How is the 1931-1933 Ukrainian famine similar to other famines throughout history? What makes it unique?
5. What detail of the conditions in Ukraine during the Holodomor was most vivid to you as you read? Why did it stick with you?
6. How did the author make use of oral histories in the book? What did they add to your reading experience?
7. Did Red Famine challenge anything you previously believed about Stalin or the USSR?
8. How is Red Famine similar to other history books that you’ve read? What makes it different?
9. Which aspects of the political situation outlined in Red Famine feel most relevant today? Why?