Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine

By Anne Applebaum
Read by Suzanne Toren

17.78 Hours 10/10/2017 unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9780525498186

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. Applebaum proves what has long been suspected: after a series of rebellions unsettled the province, Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry. The state sealed the republic’s borders and seized all available food. Starvation set in rapidly, and people ate anything: grass, tree bark, dogs, corpses. In some cases, they killed one another for food. 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.

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Summary

Summary

Shortlisted for the 2018 Cundill Prize in Historical Literature

A London Economist Best Book of the Year

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.

Applebaum proves what has long been suspected: after a series of rebellions unsettled the province, Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry. The state sealed the republic’s borders and seized all available food. Starvation set in rapidly, and people ate anything: grass, tree bark, dogs, corpses. In some cases, they killed one another for food. 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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Anne Applebaum’s Red Famine—powerful, relentless, shocking, compelling—will cement her deserved reputation as the leading historian of Soviet crimes. Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (London)
Chilling, dramatic . . . In her detailed, well-rendered narrative, Applebaum provides a ‘crucial backstory’ for understanding current relations between Russia and Ukraine. An authoritative history of national strife from a highly knowledgeable guide. Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Powerful . . . War, as Carl von Clausewitz famously put it, is the continuation of politics by other means. The politics in this case was the Sovietisation of Ukraine; the means was starvation. Food supply was not mismanaged by Utopian dreamers. It was weaponised . . . With searing clarity, Red Famine demonstrates the horrific consequences of a campaign to eradicate 'backwardness' when undertaken by a regime in a state of war with its own people. The Economist
A magisterial and heartbreaking history of Stalin’s Ukrainian famine. Simon Sebag Montefiore, London Evening Standard
Lucid, judicious and powerful . . . The argument that Stalin singled out Ukraine for special punishment is well-made . . . [An] excellent and important book. Anna Reid, Wall Street Journal
Applebaum chronicles in almost unbearably intimate detail the ruin wrought upon Ukraine by Josef Stalin and the Soviet state apparatus he had built on suspicion, paranoia, and fear . . . Applebaum gives a chorus of contemporary voices to the tale, and her book is written in the light of later history, with the fate of Ukraine once again in the international spotlight and Ukrainians realizing with newly-relevant intensity that, as Red Famine reminds us, 'History offers hope as well as tragedy.' Steve Donoghue, Christian Science Monitor
Applebaum's account will surely become the standard treatment of one of history’s great political atrocities . . . She re-creates a pastoral world so we can view its destruction. And she rightly insists that the deliberate starvation of the Ukrainian peasants was part of a larger [Soviet] policy against the Ukrainian nation . . .  To be sure, Russia is not the Soviet Union, and Russians of today can decide whether they wish to accept a Stalinist version of the past. But to have that choice, they need a sense of the history. This is one more reason to be grateful for this remarkable book. Timothy Snyder, Washington Post

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Anne Applebaum

Anne Applebaum is a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate, covering US and international politics. She is also the director for politics at the Legatum Institute in London, and in 2012–2013 will hold the Phillipe Roman chair in History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics. Her book, Gulag: A History, won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, as well as Britain’s Duff-Cooper Prize. Anne has had a special focus on Eastern Europe and Russia since 1989, when she covered the collapse of communism in Poland for the Economist magazine. She speaks both Russian and Polish, and lives part of the time in London and part in Warsaw. She met her husband, Radek Sikorski,when they drove to Berlin together to cover the fall of the Wall. He is currently the Polish Foreign Minister. They have two children.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Runtime: 17.78
Audience: Adult
Language: English