Red Famine by Anne Applebaum
Stalin's War on Ukraine

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It is grim but essential reading, and does much to explain the legacy of burning resentment in Ukraine, which led to the country’s clash with Vladimir Putin, a strongman seen by many as from the same mould as Stalin.
-Guardian

Synopsis

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.
 

About Anne Applebaum

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ANNE APPLEBAUM is a columnist for The Washington Post and Slate. Her previous book, Gulag, won the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction and was a finalist for three other major prizes. Her essays appear in The New York Review of Books, Slate, and The London Spectator. She lives in Washington, D.C., and Poland with her husband, Radek Sikorski, a Polish politician, and their two children.
 
Published October 10, 2017 by Doubleday. 496 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Nigel Jones on Aug 29 2017

It is grim but essential reading, and does much to explain the legacy of burning resentment in Ukraine, which led to the country’s clash with Vladimir Putin, a strongman seen by many as from the same mould as Stalin.

Read Full Review of Red Famine: Stalin's War on U... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Sheila Fitzpatrick on Aug 25 2017

This is not normal scholarly practice, though graduate students sometimes do it for effect before they learn better...there was no need for her to do original archival work in order to produce, as she has done, a vivid and informative account of the Ukrainian famine.

Read Full Review of Red Famine: Stalin's War on U... | See more reviews from Guardian

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