counter create hit Z Hnyva Skorboty: Radianska Kolektyvizatsiia I Holodomor (Ukrainian Edition) - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Z Hnyva Skorboty: Radianska Kolektyvizatsiia I Holodomor (Ukrainian Edition)

Availability: Ready to download

The Harvest of Sorrow is the first full history of one of the most horrendous human tragedies of the 20th century. Between 1929 and 1932 the Soviet Communist Party struck a double blow at the Russian peasantry: dekulakization, the dispossession and deportation of millions of peasant families, and collectivization, the abolition of private ownership of land and the concentr The Harvest of Sorrow is the first full history of one of the most horrendous human tragedies of the 20th century. Between 1929 and 1932 the Soviet Communist Party struck a double blow at the Russian peasantry: dekulakization, the dispossession and deportation of millions of peasant families, and collectivization, the abolition of private ownership of land and the concentration of the remaining peasants in party-controlled "collective" farms. This was followed in 1932-33 by a "terror-famine," inflicted by the State on the collectivized peasants of the Ukraine and certain other areas by setting impossibly high grain quotas, removing every other source of food, and preventing help from outside--even from other areas of the Soviet Union--from reaching the starving populace. The death toll resulting from the actions described in this book was an estimated 14.5 million--more than the total number of deaths for all countries in World War I. Ambitious, meticulously researched, and lucidly written, The Harvest of Sorrow is a deeply moving testament to those who died, and will register in the Western consciousness a sense of the dark side of this century's history.


Compare
Ads Banner

The Harvest of Sorrow is the first full history of one of the most horrendous human tragedies of the 20th century. Between 1929 and 1932 the Soviet Communist Party struck a double blow at the Russian peasantry: dekulakization, the dispossession and deportation of millions of peasant families, and collectivization, the abolition of private ownership of land and the concentr The Harvest of Sorrow is the first full history of one of the most horrendous human tragedies of the 20th century. Between 1929 and 1932 the Soviet Communist Party struck a double blow at the Russian peasantry: dekulakization, the dispossession and deportation of millions of peasant families, and collectivization, the abolition of private ownership of land and the concentration of the remaining peasants in party-controlled "collective" farms. This was followed in 1932-33 by a "terror-famine," inflicted by the State on the collectivized peasants of the Ukraine and certain other areas by setting impossibly high grain quotas, removing every other source of food, and preventing help from outside--even from other areas of the Soviet Union--from reaching the starving populace. The death toll resulting from the actions described in this book was an estimated 14.5 million--more than the total number of deaths for all countries in World War I. Ambitious, meticulously researched, and lucidly written, The Harvest of Sorrow is a deeply moving testament to those who died, and will register in the Western consciousness a sense of the dark side of this century's history.

30 review for Z Hnyva Skorboty: Radianska Kolektyvizatsiia I Holodomor (Ukrainian Edition)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mikey B.

    Page 299 (my book) Khrushchev quote “No one was keeping count” This is about one of the more appalling episodes in the history of the Soviet Union under Stalin. The centerpiece is the treatment of the ethnic and farming communities in Ukraine during 1929 to 1934. By following the dogma of Marxism-Leninism class war was declared on the so-called rich farmers of Ukraine labeled as kulaks. The definition of kulak varied – it could be a peasant farmer who owned a horse or two, a pig or two, who employe Page 299 (my book) Khrushchev quote “No one was keeping count” This is about one of the more appalling episodes in the history of the Soviet Union under Stalin. The centerpiece is the treatment of the ethnic and farming communities in Ukraine during 1929 to 1934. By following the dogma of Marxism-Leninism class war was declared on the so-called rich farmers of Ukraine labeled as kulaks. The definition of kulak varied – it could be a peasant farmer who owned a horse or two, a pig or two, who employed a labourer from time to time... Under Marxism private property and enterprise was to be abolished. So the kulaks needed to be eliminated; they were enemies of the people. Page 115 Stalin quote “We have gone over from a policy of limiting the exploiting tendencies of the kulak to a policy of liquidating the kulak as a class” Some were removed from their farms and sent to a remote Gulag to fend for themselves; others shot outright. More enemies had to be made when agricultural production sagged – so a class of sub-kulaks was found. This all lead to a loss of the most productive and industrious farmers and farmland – and the grain output kept decreasing to the stage where it was less than in the time of the Czars. The remaining peasants were forced onto collectives where a major portion of the grain output was requisitioned by the state. With the best farmers gone, with the produce seized by the government, with incompetent authorities in charge of the collectives – starvation set in. Stalin also saw the Ukrainian nationality as a threat to the centralization of power in the Soviet Union. The vast Ukrainian peasantry and its cultural elite had to be eradicated. The famine was deliberate. The author estimates that over 5 million Ukrainians died in the famine and millions more disappeared in the Gulag for dekulakization. The author also emphasizes how this collectivization negatively impacted other areas of the Soviet Union. This is a difficult book to read. There are a lot of statistics that the author uses to back up his statements. But it is the personal presentations that are most disturbing; the chapter on “children” being one of the most affecting. This has been used a source book for other volumes I have read on the Soviet Union, which is how I came to know of it. I never quite realized until reading this book just how severe and methodical this genocide was. This is what happens when ideology supersedes. Page 233 a Soviet activist With the rest of my generation I firmly believed that the ends justified the means. Our great goal was the universal triumph of communism, and for the sake of that goal everything was permissible – to lie, to steal, to destroy hundreds of thousands and even millions of people, all those who were hindering our work or could hinder it, everyone who stood in the way. And to hesitate or doubt about all this was to give in to “intellectual squeamishness” and “stupid liberalism”... I took part in this myself, scouring the countryside, searching for hidden grain, testing the earth with an iron rod for loose spots that might lead to buried grain. With the others, I emptied out the old folks’ storage chests, stopping my ears to children’s crying and the women’s wails. For I was convinced that I was accomplishing the great and necessary transformation of the countryside... that those who sent me – and I myself – knew better than the peasants how they should live... In the terrible spring of 1933 I saw people dying from hunger. I saw women and children...And corpses...I saw all this and did not go out of my mind or commit suicide. Nor did I curse those who had sent me out to take away the peasants’ grain in the winter, and in the spring to persuade the barely walking...to go into the fields in order to “fulfil the Bolshevik sowing plan”.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Monty

    Hitler was a piker compared with Joseph Stalin. Stalin created the gulags in the 1920's, and created a man-made famine to eliminate most of the population of the Ukraine who refused get aboard his economic plan. This work is one of the pieces of evidence proving that more people on this earth were murdered in the name of State Communism than from any other single ideology. Mao, Pol Pot, and all of the other State sponsored secular tyrants learned their trade from Stalin. Stalin alone probably mu Hitler was a piker compared with Joseph Stalin. Stalin created the gulags in the 1920's, and created a man-made famine to eliminate most of the population of the Ukraine who refused get aboard his economic plan. This work is one of the pieces of evidence proving that more people on this earth were murdered in the name of State Communism than from any other single ideology. Mao, Pol Pot, and all of the other State sponsored secular tyrants learned their trade from Stalin. Stalin alone probably murdered at least 15 million of his own people. Stalin starved men, women and children--deported them, and imprisoned them without the least concern for the outcome. This campaign was completely hidden from the West by a state-orchestrated information and propaganda campaign which allowed intellectuals in the West to see only the "bright and positive" side of Soviet society while hiding the horrors of what was really happening. American and British journalists were taken on a happy ride by "Uncle Joe" and gullibly believed the picture he presented of the "advanced civilization" of the Soviet Union. They were never allowed to see the nightmare occurring in the Ukrainian and Siberian areas. In Russia there is plenty of room for hiding what is not meant to be discovered. Hitler learned from Stalin how to make gulags and stuff railway cars with innocent victims. This book was the first published to describe this terrible event that can no longer be concealed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Darya

    This book was banned in Canada when it first came out. (I had to have it). It is such a gut-wrenching account of how people were forced into collectives, forced to endure famine and hardships that were hidden from the western world. The world knew one history of that time period but the reality, hidden by the Soviets, was another entirely. It isn't a book for the faint of heart and the pictures boggle the mind. With the help of Stalin approximately 14 million people died in and around the Ukrain This book was banned in Canada when it first came out. (I had to have it). It is such a gut-wrenching account of how people were forced into collectives, forced to endure famine and hardships that were hidden from the western world. The world knew one history of that time period but the reality, hidden by the Soviets, was another entirely. It isn't a book for the faint of heart and the pictures boggle the mind. With the help of Stalin approximately 14 million people died in and around the Ukraine.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Czarny Pies

    The importance of this book is that it finally silenced those who denied that there had been a man-made famine in the Ukraine betweem 1929 and 1932. Within 5 years of its publication in 1986, the overwhelming major of academic historians in the West were willing to acknowledge that there had indeed been a Ukrainian "Holocaust". From the 1930s to the early 1980s communist intellectuals and fellow travellers in the West had essentially succeeded in convincing the public that the stories of the fam The importance of this book is that it finally silenced those who denied that there had been a man-made famine in the Ukraine betweem 1929 and 1932. Within 5 years of its publication in 1986, the overwhelming major of academic historians in the West were willing to acknowledge that there had indeed been a Ukrainian "Holocaust". From the 1930s to the early 1980s communist intellectuals and fellow travellers in the West had essentially succeeded in convincing the public that the stories of the famine were lurid lies peddled by angry, Slavic expatriates. In fact when I attended the University of Toronto in the 1980s many professors were still vigorously asserting that several years of poor weather had been blown up into a non-existent genocide. Conquest convinced the Anglo-Saxon academic community of the reality of the state-created famine because he used the language and tools of Anglo-Saxon academics in his book. More importantly he was a professor on staff at a major American university (Stanford) which gave his book a credibility that a comparable work by an expatriate could never have achieved. The left has had some success countering the claims of this book. While Conquest suggested a death toll of six million, his critics now assert that 3 million was probably closer to the mark. I think the debate his open. Nobody was keeping track of the numbers properly. What historians have to quantify the number of deaths are census figures for 1926 and 1937. What one finds that with the rate of natural population increase being sustained in the 1920s, there was a shortfall in the Ukrainian population of 15 million when the projected the numbers were compared to the actual. Conquests believes that 6 of the 15 million died in famine of 1929-1932 with the balance perishing in the Gulags which were created to re-educate Kulaks and bourgeois elements. The current state of the statistical debate is that 3 million is a safe estimate on the low end range of the likely number of deaths that can be attributed to the 1929-1932 famine. Fortunately for the reader, Conquest spends only one chapter on the statistics of the affair. One major part of the book examines the process of how and why the aggressive crop seizures took place in the Ukraine and Kazakhstan took place. Here Conquest takes advantage of fairly conventional archival material to create the narrative of the famine. Finally another substantial section of the book is devoted to testimonials of those who witnessed the events in the Ukraine. The Harvest of Death is an extremely important book that deserves the widest possible audience. It describes a phenomenon that was repeated in China during the Great Leap Forward where estimates put the death toll between 15 and 45 million and in Pol Pot's Cambodia where 3 to 6 million died of hunger in the 1970s.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Piker7977

    An important book that exposes the atrocities committed against Ukraine in the forms of de-kulakization and grain requisitioning. Imprisonment, death, famine, and economic depravation were employed against the Ukrainian nationstate as means of political warfare by the Stalinist regime. Although unaware of what genocidal consequences these policies would have at first, Conquest's conclusions do not absolve Stalin of these crimes through ignorance or confusion. The fact that their implementation c An important book that exposes the atrocities committed against Ukraine in the forms of de-kulakization and grain requisitioning. Imprisonment, death, famine, and economic depravation were employed against the Ukrainian nationstate as means of political warfare by the Stalinist regime. Although unaware of what genocidal consequences these policies would have at first, Conquest's conclusions do not absolve Stalin of these crimes through ignorance or confusion. The fact that their implementation continued during the height on the famine, and similar policies to follow after the Second World War, is logical enough to hold the U.S.S.R. accountable. What is most interesting is Conquest's perspectives on how the Ukrainian famine was not seriously acknowledged by the Soviet Union as a means of moving forward and improving their system. Such a horrible event coincides with the denial of valuable market mechanisms, agricultural science, and the idea of truth itself alongside the millions who perished during this event. This was not only the work of the Soviet misinformation apparatus, but also the negligence of Western news sources who swept much of this information under the rug. The Harvest of Sorrow is still an important book 30 plus years after its publication because it exposes appalling political crimes in an age where truth is just as fragile as it was during the 1930s. Plus, it reminds us of what means of warfare are available to leaders who wish to channel their predecessors. From a BBC article released on 4/18/2019: The respected Levada Center polled Russians aged 18 and above in 137 towns and cities in March. The result: 51% respect, like or admire Stalin.

  6. 4 out of 5

    DoctorM

    A classic--- and a vital part of anyone's library on 20th-c. Russia. A horrifying account of what Stalin--- and the Party apparatus; never never never think it was all Stalin alone ---did to the Russian peasantry as part of forced industrialisation: crushing the peasantry in order to extract the surplus that would feed the cities and the workers needed for the manic industrial growth projected under the 5-Year Plans, exporting grain to pay for building up Soviet industry even while the countrysi A classic--- and a vital part of anyone's library on 20th-c. Russia. A horrifying account of what Stalin--- and the Party apparatus; never never never think it was all Stalin alone ---did to the Russian peasantry as part of forced industrialisation: crushing the peasantry in order to extract the surplus that would feed the cities and the workers needed for the manic industrial growth projected under the 5-Year Plans, exporting grain to pay for building up Soviet industry even while the countryside starved, shattering by main force and terror any chance the peasantry might have had to defend itself. The Russian peasantry had been squeezed before under the tsars to pay for railroads and industry, but Conquest highlights the idea of deliberate terror designed not just to feed the cities at the expense of the Russian countryside, but to wage a kind of one-sided civil war that would destroy any hint of separatism in the Ukraine or any hope of the peasantry establishing its own political rights. Stalin's plans, unlike those of, say Count Witte in the 1890s, required mobilizing the Party to wage war on the peasantry--- required creating a kind of hysteria around collectivisation and industrialisation that would give the Party control down to the smallest village. "Harvest of Sorrow" is a powerful book, and it deserves to be on the shelves of anyone who cares about Russia or about the nightmare of the last century.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Timko

    I'm a person of Ukrainian descent on both parents' sides of the family. I first learned about this horrific event in 2nd year university when I took a course on Poland and Ukraine. As much as people blame Stalin and he is to blame for most things, but this didn't just happen in Ukraine (and be careful not to say the Ukraine. It isn't a province, it's a country) but it happened in Russia itself. There wasn't just dekulakization in Ukraine. It happened in the farm lands in Russia as well. Conquest I'm a person of Ukrainian descent on both parents' sides of the family. I first learned about this horrific event in 2nd year university when I took a course on Poland and Ukraine. As much as people blame Stalin and he is to blame for most things, but this didn't just happen in Ukraine (and be careful not to say the Ukraine. It isn't a province, it's a country) but it happened in Russia itself. There wasn't just dekulakization in Ukraine. It happened in the farm lands in Russia as well. Conquest has since retracted his opinions in this book and said it was purely based on economics of the day. I do think that Stalin was attacking Ukrainian nationalism, but he was also attacking Russian peasants nationalism as well. Stalin only cared about feeding the people in Moscow. The memorial of this tragic event is known as the Holodomor and is recognized by 13 states as an act of genocide.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    It is a curious thing, but the public schools do not teach anything about this subject in their history classes. This book should be required reading! It is not an easy read any way you look at it, but it is an important book. Please pick it up and give it a read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    **The Harvest of Sorrow**is the first full history of one of the most horrendous human tragedies of the 20th century. Between 1929 and 1932 the Soviet Communist Party struck a double blow at the Russian peasantry: dekulakization, the dispossession and deportation of millions of peasant families, and collectivization, the abolition of private ownership of land and the concentration of the remaining peasants in party-controlled "collective" farms. This was followed in 1932-33 by a "terror-famine," **The Harvest of Sorrow**is the first full history of one of the most horrendous human tragedies of the 20th century. Between 1929 and 1932 the Soviet Communist Party struck a double blow at the Russian peasantry: dekulakization, the dispossession and deportation of millions of peasant families, and collectivization, the abolition of private ownership of land and the concentration of the remaining peasants in party-controlled "collective" farms. This was followed in 1932-33 by a "terror-famine," inflicted by the State on the collectivized peasants of the Ukraine and certain other areas by setting impossibly high grain quotas, removing every other source of food, and preventing help from outside--even from other areas of the Soviet Union--from reaching the starving populace. The death toll resulting from the actions described in this book was an estimated 14.5 million--more than the total number of deaths for all countries in World War I. Ambitious, meticulously researched, and lucidly written, **The Harvest of Sorrow** is a deeply moving testament to those who died, and will register in the Western consciousness a sense of the dark side of this century's history.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark McDonnell

    Conquest clearly explains the precursors to famine, the tragedy itself, and its aftermath. Many first-hand accounts are quoted, often at length, from both victims and government "activists," allowing for an intimate understanding of specific people's experiences in context. Conquest also writes of the West's knowledge of and reaction to the famine, including a description of Stalin's tactics of obfuscation. Statistics are offered frequently. Harvest of Sorrow reads as a relatively objective acco Conquest clearly explains the precursors to famine, the tragedy itself, and its aftermath. Many first-hand accounts are quoted, often at length, from both victims and government "activists," allowing for an intimate understanding of specific people's experiences in context. Conquest also writes of the West's knowledge of and reaction to the famine, including a description of Stalin's tactics of obfuscation. Statistics are offered frequently. Harvest of Sorrow reads as a relatively objective account of the relevant event and its context. It is accessible to readers with limited background knowledge of Soviet history, though many names of officials, which go unintroduced in the book, will be unfamiliar.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Peter Kirsop

    A must read for anyone who believes communism is good. It isnt.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Manray9

    The best description of Stalin's forced collectivization of agriculture -- arguably the most monstrous crime of a monstrous century.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Armstrong

    I was reading Conquest's book on The Great Terror, about Stalin's show trials in the late thirties, but then thought I should go back a few years and learn about Stalin's terror famines. I'd also read Hungry Ghosts about China's terror famine in the mid-fifties and wanted to see how it played out in Russia. Like Hungry Ghosts, this was an incredibly eye-opening and shocking book. We were never taught about any of this in school. The stupidity and sheer evil of Stalin is really highlighted here i I was reading Conquest's book on The Great Terror, about Stalin's show trials in the late thirties, but then thought I should go back a few years and learn about Stalin's terror famines. I'd also read Hungry Ghosts about China's terror famine in the mid-fifties and wanted to see how it played out in Russia. Like Hungry Ghosts, this was an incredibly eye-opening and shocking book. We were never taught about any of this in school. The stupidity and sheer evil of Stalin is really highlighted here in meticulous detail through statistics, anecdotes, citations, and a good narrative (I confess, I skipped over some of the more densely statistical pages, not being a real number freak). For anyone who is following the current crisis in the Ukraine, this should absolutely be on their reading list (I was going to say bedside table, but this book should perhaps be read during the day so you don't get nightmares!). It left me feeling that our government is not doing enough to stop the spread of Russian imperialism in the Ukraine. Putin seems to want to resuscitate some of Stalin's methods (be aggressive, then pull back, more aggression, then denials, etc. etc.), and if we don't act decisively (I don't mean start a war) then the Ukraine is bound to be swallowed up in due time. Some people may say: ''well, it's really a part of Russia, anyway,'' but IT ISN'T. It's its own vibrant culture with a strong sense of nationalism that has been tested over and over again throughout history. Anyway, back to the book: it was heartbreaking to see the people in the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and other regions of the former USSR get murdered, exiled, imprisoned, and starved, just so that Stalin could subdue their ''colonies'' sense of nationalism, and force peasants out of their centuries-old agricultural practices (which worked) into forced collectivization (which didn't work). Also, Conquest spends a lot of time at the beginning of the book detailing the ''dekulakization'' of the countryside (a kulak being a prosperous peasant), where anyone could be called a ''kulak'' and have all his possessions taken away, forced into exile, or shot, as part of the ''class struggle.'' I've read Darkness at Noon, Animal Farm, and other fictional treatments of the Soviet Terror, but this book really hits you on the head with how ''theory'' (in this case Marxism) can be valued more highly than simple human values and virtues. How many hundreds of millions of people in the history of the world have been killed because of ''theory'' (including religious ''theory'')? And at the end of the book, Conquest writes about how so many in the West were duped, including one guy who won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting that there was no famine! Malcolm Muggeridge, who I used to watch on the Jack Paar Show (and maybe Carson), was one of the few journalists to report the truth in the West, and he was castigated for his ''distortions'' especially by the Left in the West. Now, I'm on the left politically, but this sort of thing shows me some of the glaring flaws of leftist politics (e.g. being blind to gross violations of human justice in the name of some left-wing ideal). For those attracted to any policy of any sort, this book rang screamed out to me: Caveat emptor!

  14. 5 out of 5

    John

    A most engaging and horrifying book. It conveys the circumstances and the means by which the Soviet government put to death at least 10 million peasants. Most of these people, the adults at least, opposed collectivation to some degree. Many others were members of national minorities, such as the Ukranians, who may not have opposed 'Soviet power,' i.e. collectivation, at all, but who were members of national minorities, Ukranians, for example, devoted to their national language, culture, traditio A most engaging and horrifying book. It conveys the circumstances and the means by which the Soviet government put to death at least 10 million peasants. Most of these people, the adults at least, opposed collectivation to some degree. Many others were members of national minorities, such as the Ukranians, who may not have opposed 'Soviet power,' i.e. collectivation, at all, but who were members of national minorities, Ukranians, for example, devoted to their national language, culture, traditions, etc., and who resisted assimilation into a homogeneous Soviet identity, behavior and culture. I read this book shortly after reading Montefiore's Stalin: The Court of the Red Tzar, a very illuminating sequence. Montefiore's book describes the everyday life of Stalin's ruling elite who carried out the genocidal policies toward the rural population the effects of which Conquest describes in his book. And they all knew that millions, as many as ten million, were dying, but continued to pursue their realization of 'historical necessity' nonetheless with a clear conscience and a full stomach.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    I feel a bit bad marking this low, as at the time when it was written it was probably quite brave and necessary, but while Conquest (awesome author name, by the way) lays out an unapologetic indictment of the Soviet government for its intentional infliction of famine on the Ukraine, and its damnable stubbornness in insisting on ideologically-motivated reforms even in the teeth of overwhelming evidence that they were failures, the writing is weak, the organization is scattered (alternating chrono I feel a bit bad marking this low, as at the time when it was written it was probably quite brave and necessary, but while Conquest (awesome author name, by the way) lays out an unapologetic indictment of the Soviet government for its intentional infliction of famine on the Ukraine, and its damnable stubbornness in insisting on ideologically-motivated reforms even in the teeth of overwhelming evidence that they were failures, the writing is weak, the organization is scattered (alternating chronological chapters with thematic ones with no rhyme or reason), and he relies so much on endless statistics and atomistic anecdotes that none of the important people, save Stalin, come across with any sort of personality. An important story, but poorly told, at least to the lay reader.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marks54

    This is a history of the famine in the Ukraine brought about by Stalin's collectivization program and enforced by terror. It is a horrible story and that is both depressing and still little known today. Conquest is a superb writer and the book is captivating to read even as it is difficult. There are other treatments of this series of events, such as Bloodlands, that place it in context with other atrocities of the time. There is even an emerging genre of these events, such as histories of the I This is a history of the famine in the Ukraine brought about by Stalin's collectivization program and enforced by terror. It is a horrible story and that is both depressing and still little known today. Conquest is a superb writer and the book is captivating to read even as it is difficult. There are other treatments of this series of events, such as Bloodlands, that place it in context with other atrocities of the time. There is even an emerging genre of these events, such as histories of the Irish potato famine or the WWII famine in Bengal. This is one of the first that I read and it is still one of the best.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Philip Kuhn

    Excellent piece of historical research and writing. Most Americans don't know anything about the frightful events that are detailed in this book. Conquest does an excellent job piecing together the facts to give the reader a complete picture of what happened. A must read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Barton Carroll

    Amazing account of a forgotten Genocide. Stalin's Terror famine.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kges1901

    An illuminating account of an overlooked human catastrophe. The 14.5 million death toll of the Holodomor is much overlooked and this book really should be on high school reading lists.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Autumn Kotsiuba

    The best resource I've found to date on the Holodomor.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Athens

    This is a well written book with no wasted words, even if not an absolute masterpiece of style. And though history books are to me generally not 5-star, it seems inescapable that this is indeed a 5-star book because the story is so damned important. I admit to starting off through the first third in the frame of mind of collecting the material into my mind; to just absorb it as history. Now, at completion, I've come to realize that this is something different. Statistical figures, Soviet reports, l This is a well written book with no wasted words, even if not an absolute masterpiece of style. And though history books are to me generally not 5-star, it seems inescapable that this is indeed a 5-star book because the story is so damned important. I admit to starting off through the first third in the frame of mind of collecting the material into my mind; to just absorb it as history. Now, at completion, I've come to realize that this is something different. Statistical figures, Soviet reports, letters, Khrushchev's memoirs, hearsay, eye-witness accounts from both peasants and "activists", declarative sentences that are never laced with adjectives overtly meant to generate sensational emotionalism - that approach becomes something the reader can visualize, can ponder, and can imagine happening. The net effect of writing this way is actually much more powerful than trying to force the conclusion or the reaction. I am fully aware that there are several well-read people in the world who have commented that this book is anti-Marxist or anti-Soviet propaganda and largely difficult to prove. Let's for a moment grant that point; that only a fraction is proven true, maybe 25% true. That 25% is enough to leave a very serious impression, no matter how much history you've read. For follow-up, I'd like to note that it was worth taking 15 minutes or so to read the summary background of Mr. Conquest. Lastly, I'd like to spend some time on this topic of collectivization and the famine from the "other side", if there even is such a thing.

  22. 5 out of 5

    F

    Why I did not read this when it was first published I do not know. Its publication date is 1986, before the fall of the USSR. I am left with 2 overwhelming impressions. Firstly, he argues very clearly about the responsibilities for the famine in Chapter 18. In chapter 17, he describes how Stalin successfully 'managed the message': " This lobby of the blind and the blindfold could not actually prevent true accounts by those who were neither dupes nor liars from reaching the West. But they could, Why I did not read this when it was first published I do not know. Its publication date is 1986, before the fall of the USSR. I am left with 2 overwhelming impressions. Firstly, he argues very clearly about the responsibilities for the famine in Chapter 18. In chapter 17, he describes how Stalin successfully 'managed the message': " This lobby of the blind and the blindfold could not actually prevent true accounts by those who were neither dupes nor liars from reaching the West. But they could, and did, succeed in giving the impression that there was at least a genuine doubt about what was happening and insinuating that reports of starvation came only from those hostile to the Soviet government and hence of dubious reliability. " (p 321). It seems to me that this is a technique that is still in use by governments based in Moscow. It has turned out to be a tried and tested way of confusing the world about what that government is actually doing. Secondly, Robert Conquest is horrifyingly 'prescient'. Here is a historian who has done his research, and concluded that the famine in Ukraine was Soviet policy. In the epilogue he writes: "It is not for me to make predictions about the course of events. But in any future crisis in the USSR, it is clear that Ukrainian nationhood will be a factor and a vital one. It has not been destroyed by Stalin's methods,nor have any of the later tactical shifts of his successors disarmed it'. If you wish to begin to understand life in the countries of the former USSR, both past and present, this is a book you should not miss.

  23. 5 out of 5

    David M

    Earlier this year I read Timothy Snyder's great book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, which gives a truly horrifying account of the Ukranian famine. Snyder, however, gives a much lower figure than 14.5 million, something closer to 4 million. Why this huge discrepancy? This maybe points to a larger question. Famines have been common throughout most of human history. By the end of the first world most the inhabitants of the Russian empire were starving or severely malnourished. Nichola Earlier this year I read Timothy Snyder's great book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, which gives a truly horrifying account of the Ukranian famine. Snyder, however, gives a much lower figure than 14.5 million, something closer to 4 million. Why this huge discrepancy? This maybe points to a larger question. Famines have been common throughout most of human history. By the end of the first world most the inhabitants of the Russian empire were starving or severely malnourished. Nicholas II didn't deliberately set out to starve his people, but to a large extent these food shortages were the predictable consequence of the imperial system and the policies Nicholas pursued. Still, it seems that most historians don't hold him personally responsible in the way they do Stalin for the famines in the early thirties. What's the difference? ... (that's not a purely rhetorical question; I do think there is a difference, but I can't fully articulate it yet, which is one reason I want to keep reading books on the subject)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tomi

    Anyone who thinks socialism is a good idea needs to read this book. If socialism is so wonderful, why does it have to be forced on people? If it the best system ever, why does it drive a mother to kill and eat her own children? Millions of people were killed outright, deported to labor camps, or simply left to starve to death...because these things would create a perfect world. Didn't happen. That world never appeared. This book was published in 1986, and the author noted that the average citize Anyone who thinks socialism is a good idea needs to read this book. If socialism is so wonderful, why does it have to be forced on people? If it the best system ever, why does it drive a mother to kill and eat her own children? Millions of people were killed outright, deported to labor camps, or simply left to starve to death...because these things would create a perfect world. Didn't happen. That world never appeared. This book was published in 1986, and the author noted that the average citizen in the USSR was much worse off than before the revolution. The book details, with plenty of statistics and primary sources, the collectivization and dekulakization of the Russian peasant farms and the deliberate starvation of Ukraine. It is a very powerful denunciation of the Soviet system - which is still a failure.

  25. 5 out of 5

    ELB

    And this is what democrats and do-nothing republicans want??? Now I know why Politicians pit one group against the other. Man, what a depressing book, I wish that this book was taught in every school in the U.S. Fourteen million deaths, many children, what a crying shame!!! With all of this going on and Roosevelt wanted to recognize Russia! I think Whittaker Chambers said it best in his book, WITNESS. "The Communist vision is a vision of Man without God." After reading this book, I have to agree And this is what democrats and do-nothing republicans want??? Now I know why Politicians pit one group against the other. Man, what a depressing book, I wish that this book was taught in every school in the U.S. Fourteen million deaths, many children, what a crying shame!!! With all of this going on and Roosevelt wanted to recognize Russia! I think Whittaker Chambers said it best in his book, WITNESS. "The Communist vision is a vision of Man without God." After reading this book, I have to agree with him 100% Here we also see that "FAKE NEWS" is not new. If only Walter Duranty of the New York Times and others had not lied to the American people and the world, maybe he could have saved many lives in Russia and saved the United States Government from the infiltration of hundreds of Communist. Not finished with the book, it may take a while.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jane Griffiths

    He died while I was reading this, at the age of I think 98. Stalin had the Ukrainian peasantry slaughtered through famine - oh but he didn't MEAN to. Collectivisation and "de-kulakisation" caused millions of deaths. But hey. Conquest was hugely unfashionable when I was studying Soviet history when I was young. Because anti-communist. But it's more than an atrocity story. All backed up with figures which were confirmed when the Soviet archives were opened after the collapse of the USSR. He says, He died while I was reading this, at the age of I think 98. Stalin had the Ukrainian peasantry slaughtered through famine - oh but he didn't MEAN to. Collectivisation and "de-kulakisation" caused millions of deaths. But hey. Conquest was hugely unfashionable when I was studying Soviet history when I was young. Because anti-communist. But it's more than an atrocity story. All backed up with figures which were confirmed when the Soviet archives were opened after the collapse of the USSR. He says, close to the end, "Ukrainian liberty is, or should be, a key moral and political issue for the world as a whole."

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sajith Kumar

    The first half of the twentieth century saw two authoritarian regimes in Europe massacring their own citizens on the basis of a flawed ideology. Hitler exterminated six million Jews while Lenin and Stalin ensured the deaths of about three times that figure. It is claimed that actions recorded in this book resulted in the loss of twenty human lives for each letter in it. The book begins its narrative with this sombre pointer in the preface. The author wades through available evidence to narrate t The first half of the twentieth century saw two authoritarian regimes in Europe massacring their own citizens on the basis of a flawed ideology. Hitler exterminated six million Jews while Lenin and Stalin ensured the deaths of about three times that figure. It is claimed that actions recorded in this book resulted in the loss of twenty human lives for each letter in it. The book begins its narrative with this sombre pointer in the preface. The author wades through available evidence to narrate the severe famine that raged in the USSR, especially in Ukraine and its environs, killing five million men, women and children in 1921-22 and another twelve million in 1930-37. Robert Conquest was one of the twentieth century’s greatest historians of the Soviet Union. His books revealed the true extent and nature of Stalin’s political executions and imprisonments. Communism always had an uneasy relationship with the peasantry. For them, the proletariat meant the urban industrial working class. Accommodation of farmers in the larger scheme of things was always a result of compromise in order to rope in the peasants in the class struggle. Marx had spoken of the ‘idiocy of rural life’ and praised capitalism for freeing much of the population from this idiocy. Khrushchev later told that ‘for Stalin, peasants were scum’. Small scale production in rural areas was understood to engender capitalism and Marx argued for ‘gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country’. The state of agriculture that was handed over to the Bolsheviks in 1917 was dismal, with only half of the peasant holdings having iron ploughs. Crop yield was only slightly higher than that of fourteenth century England. The Communist party identified slightly better off rural folk as kulaks and sought to destroy them under the label of class enemy. Some form of redistribution of arable land was made immediately after the revolution, but it was forcibly aggregated into huge farms during collectivisation. The party allowed one representative for every 25,000 workers, but in the case of peasants, 125000 of them had had to be on the rolls to deserve a representative. Communism was an urban, industrial phenomenon in essence, but Russia was out and out an agricultural country. The Russian level of industrialisation and the size and maturity of the proletariat were insufficient to manage the transformation of a huge agrarian majority. This meant that farm surplus was heavily required for industrialisation. Though grain was always in short supply, USSR did not import grain till 1960s. The forced collection of grain paved the way for the devastating famine. Stalin tried dekulakisation first in the countryside in 1929. Impossible quotas of grain were imposed on individuals and those deemed to be kulaks were inflicted crippling fines of up to five times the original quota, if they failed to meet it. Defaulters were transported to labour camps in distant Siberia which were designed more as a device to exterminate the class enemy rather than extracting labour from the unfortunate men. Kolkhozes, which were large collectivist agricultural factories, came next. But this could only make sense when the peasantry had adequate machinery and other goods from towns, which was not forthcoming. The urge to the giant farm had no basis except an urge to urbanise the countryside and produce the grain factories hypothesized by a German scholar (Marx) a couple of generations previously (p.109). Ideology, rather than sound economic advice, was the motive force of the Party. Economists had the choice of supporting the Party’s new plans or going to prison. This book vividly portrays the ways in which Communism dehumanised its workers and made obedience to commands from higher ups a virtue. The hunt against kulaks is a case in point. People who owned three or four cows and two or three horses were by definition kulaks. The average kulak’s income was often lower than that of the average rural official who was persecuting him as a representative of the wealthy class. Kulaks had already been greatly impoverished by the time of collectivisation. Even then, fanatic comrades virtually collected kulaks in their nets. They felt no compunction in separating family members by sending them to different camps. Communists glossed over this human misery with heartless rhetoric such as “Moscow does not believe in tears”. Getting a kulak into jail was as simple as writing a denunciation such as the victim had paid people to work for him as hired hands. The Party’s rationale was that even though not one of them was guilty of anything, they belonged to the class that was guilty of everything. Sometimes the people fought back. They sold or slaughtered and ate their cattle before entering the collective farms and letting the comrades take the cattle away. Contrary to the lofty slogans frequently uttered by the Communists wherever they are not in power, the entire population of the Soviet Union were living in an open jail with no personal freedom or human rights. People needed internal passports to travel from one place to the other which had to be approved by the head of the kolkhoz in which they worked. Workers were paid by labour-days they had put in. This counted the actual hours they worked and not simply the time interval between the instant they came in to the work place and went out of it. A typical labour-day involved ploughing of a hectare of land or the threshing of a ton of grain. Naturally, some of the labourers had to work more than a day to get a day's worth of credit. Chairmen of kolkhozes and tractor drivers earned two labour-days for a day's work. The payment was a pittance. The workers obtained 300 grams of bread and some cash paid annually, which could not even buy a pair of shoes. The great famine of 1932-33 was caused by fall in production and rise in requisition of grain. Conquest drives this point home with facts and figures. The requisition was based on biological yields calculated by the area sowed multiplied by the estimated yield. Quantity of grain actually threshed was not taken into account. When famine raged, the officials rightfully suspected of secret hordes of grain. Starving people had their limbs swelled and the officials tracked and searched the homes of people with no visible signs of swelling. Instead of the hammer and sickle, a distended belly became the symbol of Communism for the time being. While people starved and died in the farmsteads, granaries bursting with grain were reserved for the army and city dwellers. Famine was just not sufficient a reason for release of grain. Party officials and their wives who had large rations would sell their surplus food in return for the starving peasants’ valuables at bargain prices. This book is noted for explaining the frightful plight of the Soviet people under Communist party’s autocratic rule. Religious freedom was guaranteed in the Constitution on principle, but was regularly undermined. Moscow city had 460 orthodox churches before the revolution that came down to 100 by 1933. Churches were turned into cinemas, machine-parts stores, granaries and clubs. Church bells were melted to collect metal for Soviet industrialisation. Thirteen archbishops died in Soviet prisons in the period 1928-38. The book includes an observation by Victor Kravchenko after he defected to the West. He notes how families disintegrated on the face of merciless death: “The first who died were men. Later on, the children. And last of all, the women. But before they died, people often lost their senses and ceased to be human beings”. The author assumes that the readers are familiar with collective farms and how they were organised and functioned. We don't get any glimpses of information on this front. Some arguments are buttressed with quotes from fiction on the surmise that they reflected reality better than state records or people’s letters which were subject to strict censoring. Sholokhov’s books have been used much. It requires a hardened heart on the part of readers to cruise through chapters 12 (The Famine Rages) and 15 (Children). It is amusing to note that the author displays no hint of the impending collapse of communism in the USSR. This book was published in 1986, and just five years later, Communism was pushing up the daisies. But the author bows out with this remark: “in any future crisis of the USSR, it is clear that Ukrainian nationhood will be a factor and a vital one” (p.337). After five years, Ukraine indeed became an independent republic.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Pretty dry but SO GOOD. Extremely well researched and presented. Paints a horrifying picture of the war against Ukrainian nationalist feeling in the 1930s, specifically the Stalin-approved/exacerbated famine in the Ukraine in which over 10 million people died of starvation.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Arthur

    An exhaustively researched chronicle of the 'Holodomor', a program of genocide conducted by the Soviet Union against the Ukrainian (and other nationality's) peasantry that culminated in a manufactured famine in 1931-2 that killed millions. Besides focusing upon the 'dekulakization' campaign that ultimately degenerated into the infamous famine itself, the book also serves effectively as a general survey of the horrors of the early Soviet Union, especially under Stalin (but before the era of the 'p An exhaustively researched chronicle of the 'Holodomor', a program of genocide conducted by the Soviet Union against the Ukrainian (and other nationality's) peasantry that culminated in a manufactured famine in 1931-2 that killed millions. Besides focusing upon the 'dekulakization' campaign that ultimately degenerated into the infamous famine itself, the book also serves effectively as a general survey of the horrors of the early Soviet Union, especially under Stalin (but before the era of the 'purges'). The ultimate objective of the book seems to be to highlight the abject failure of communist ideology to translate into the promised Marxist "utopia". Not light reading; a bit of a slog to get through this one. This is due not only to the genocidal subject matter, but because of the rigorous academic standards of the book. Conquest wrote 'Harvest of Sorrow' before the Soviet Union dissolved and he obviously understood that this book would have political implications. He therefore took the role of 'objective historian' extremely seriously, as evidenced by the book's laboriously systematic style. This is not "fluff" narrative history; this is history conducted with the rigour of a prosecutorial attorney. And for good reason, because 'Harvest of Sorrows' puts not just the Soviet Union, but the communist ideology itself on trial.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    What an horrific event, one hardly spoken off because it was purposely kept quiet by the Russian Communist government. 14.5million people killed in a rush of Dekulakisation and Terror Famine, and yet it's not widely known. Seriously hard to read, not just because the subject matter is upsetting, but because this is a 1980's history - written for students of history or other historians, unlike many more modern histories, written for a more general audience. I initially tried to understand all of i What an horrific event, one hardly spoken off because it was purposely kept quiet by the Russian Communist government. 14.5million people killed in a rush of Dekulakisation and Terror Famine, and yet it's not widely known. Seriously hard to read, not just because the subject matter is upsetting, but because this is a 1980's history - written for students of history or other historians, unlike many more modern histories, written for a more general audience. I initially tried to understand all of it and grasp who all the players were, I had to give up quickly.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.