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eBook The Harvest of Sorrow : Soviet Collectivisation and the Terror-Famine ePub

eBook The Harvest of Sorrow : Soviet Collectivisation and the Terror-Famine ePub

by Robert Conquest

  • ISBN: 0712697500
  • Subcategory: History
  • Author: Robert Conquest
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Vintage Uk (April 30, 2002)
  • Pages: 432
  • ePub book: 1909 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1470 kb
  • Other: mbr txt docx lit
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Votes: 525

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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

The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-famine is a book by British historian Robert Conquest, published in 1986.

The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-famine is a book by British historian Robert Conquest, published in 1986.

Bibliography: p. 394-396. The protagonists : party, peasants and nation

Bibliography: p. The protagonists : party, peasants and nation. The peasants and the party - The Ukrainian nationality and Leninism - Revolution, peasant war and famine, 1917-1921 - Stalemate, 1921-1927 - To crush the peasantry. Collision course, 1928-1929 - The fate of the 'Kulaks' - Crash collectivization and its defeat, January-March 1930 - The end of the free peasantry, 1920-1932 - Central Asia and the Kazakh tragedy - The churches and the people - The terror-famine

Robert Conquest's The Harvest of Sorrow helped to reveal to the West the true and staggering human cost of the Soviet regime in its deliberate starvation of millions of peasants and remains one of the most important works of Soviet history ever written.

Robert Conquest's The Harvest of Sorrow helped to reveal to the West the true and staggering human cost of the Soviet regime in its deliberate starvation of millions of peasants and remains one of the most important works of Soviet history ever written.

Collision course, 1928–1929 - The fate of the 'Kulaks' - Crash collectivization and its defeat, January-March 1930 - The end of the free peasantry, 1920–1932 - Central Asia and the Kazakh tragedy - The churches and the people - The terror-famine

Collision course, 1928–1929 - The fate of the 'Kulaks' - Crash collectivization and its defeat, January-March 1930 - The end of the free peasantry, 1920–1932 - Central Asia and the Kazakh tragedy - The churches and the people - The terror-famine. Assault on the Ukraine, 1920–32 - The famine rages - A land laid waste - Kuban, Don and Volga - Children - The death roll - The record of the west - Responsibilities Includes index The protagonists : party, peasants and nation. 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 Harvest of Sorrow. Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine. Preface Introduction. Part I. The Protagonists: Party, Peasants and Nation 1. The Peasants and the Party 2. The Ukrainian Nationality and Leninism 3. Revolution, Peasant War and Famines, 1917-1921 4. Stalemate, 1921-1927.

Robert Conquest, The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine (University of Alberta . The motive for suppressing the census and the census-takers is reasonably clear.

Robert Conquest, The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine (University of Alberta Press, 1986). No one was keeping count. A figure of about 170 million had featured in official speeches and estimates for several years, a symbolic representation of Molotov's boast in January 1935 that 'the gigantic growth of population shows the living forces of Soviet construction'. Another census was taken in January 1939, the only one in the period whose results were published, but in the circumstances it has always failed to carry much conviction.

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The first full history of one of the most horrendous human tragedies of the 20th century, The Harvest of Sorrow examines the atrocities inflicted on the Russian peasantry by the Soviet Communist party between 1929 and 1933.

Between 1929 and 1932 the Soviet Communist Party struck a double blow at the peasantry of the USSR: dekulakisation, the dispossession and deportation of millions of peasant families; and collectivisation, the effective abolition of private property in land and the concentration of the remaining peasantry in 'collective' farms under Party control. There followed a 'terror-famine', inflicted on the collectivised peasants of the Ukraine and certain other regions by the state, which set impossibly high quotas, removed every other source of food, and prevented outside help - even from other areas of the USSR - from reaching the starving millions. Epic in scope and rich in detail, The Harvest of Sorrow tells the moving story of a disaster that was, in human terms, one of the worst in living memory.

Comments

Brakora Brakora
The present day (2015) conflict between Russia and the Ukraine has deep seated roots that have a long history. This book documents the situation in the early 1930s when Stalin attempted to destroy Ukrainian nationalism, coupled with his general policies within the Soviet Union. In addition to deportations of families and executions, he followed agricultural policies that starved a large portion of the population. Millions died, particularly young children and older people. It was always dangerous having a mercurial leader like Stalin who distrusted everyone. People who carried out his policies one year, could themselves fall victim to purges and executions the next year. Reading history can tend to be dry (it is not written as a popular novel), but it is worth sticking to it to understand the background of the present conflict. Putin, like Stalin, seems intent on destroying Ukrainian nationalism for whatever reason.

The book provides a good summary of the flawed economic policies of the Soviet Union in the 1930s. Destroying the incentive for people to excel and advance themselves does not work well. That Is coupled with basic problems in Communist theory that fail to put proper values on distribution, and fail to properly match production with market needs.
SkroN SkroN
An amazingly comprehensive collection of detailed information about the terror famine and the collectivisation drive that led up to it, particularly in the Ukraine and the Cossack regions, where a disproportionate number were murdered compared to the rest of the Soviet Union. As in The Great Terror, Conquest is objective in compiling and sourcing data, but does not hold back from reasoned judgments. It's a pity this book has not been more widely read. During the Cold War, Conquest was often dismissed as a Cold Warrior or anti-communist, and perhaps just as often used by right-wing extremists (and even anti-semites, who will actually find no justification whatever for their views in this book) to bolster their own agendas. Now that the books have been thrown open in Russia and the Ukraine, this book appears almost as an understatement of the horrors of the first half of the 1930s.
Zamo Zamo
A must read for anyone wanting to fathom present-day politics in America or anyone interested in understanding the differences between republicanism, socialism, communism and our present-day very loose use of the word 'democracy.' If you want to understand why the WWII generation feared communism, this book will explain it. Don't pick it up for a light read. On the other hand, Conquest researched then documented every concept and description in the book, having attained some from the most difficult sources of the twentieth century, including pre-Paristroika issues of Pravda. Given the density of Conquest's narrative, read the chapter on the children - afterward, you'll want to read the whole book. When you're finished, no one will ever again pull-the-wool over your eyes. If, however, you're predisposed to Progressive policy, this book will offend you.
Snowskin Snowskin
Since WWII Jews around the world have routinely resolved to “never forget” Hitler’s brutal effort to destroy the Jewish people. So too all of us should determine to never forget the far costlier devastation visited upon Russia by Joseph Stalin. In concentration camps such as Belsen and Auschwitz the Nazis slaughtered some six million people, but a decade earlier, in the Ukraine and adjacent Cossack areas in southern Russia, the Bolsheviks killed nearly twice as many peasants—totaling more than all deaths in WWI. The late English historian Robert Conquest devoted much of his life to finding, rigorously documenting, and publishing the truth regarding what transpired in the Soviet Union between WWI and WWII. One of his most powerful treatises is Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine (New York: Oxford University Press, c. 1986). The book’s title is taken from “The Armament of Igor,” a poem lamenting that: “The black earth / Was sown with bones / And watered with blood / For a harvest of sorrow / On the land of Rus.’”
For many centuries Russian peasants were serfs—working the land of aristocratic landowners who often exploited them. Reform movements in the 19th century, much like anti-slave movements in America, led to their liberation in the 1860s. While certainly harsh by modern standards, their lot slowly improved, though like sharecroppers following the Civil War in America they were generally landless and impoverished in a nation firmly controlled by the Tsar and aristocracy. Thus the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 was initially welcomed by peasants who often seized and carved up the large estates they worked on, hoping for the better life promised by the upheaval. Yet they “‘turned a completely deaf ear to ideas of Socialism’” (p. 44). As Boris Pasternak made clear, in a passage in Doctor Zhivago: “‘The peasant knows very well what he wants, better than you or I do . . . . When the revolution came and woke him up, he decided that this was the fulfillment of his dreams, his ancient dream of living anarchically on his own land by the work of his hands, in complete independence and without owing anything to anyone. Instead of that, he found the had only exchanged the old oppression of the Czarist state for the new, much harsher yoke of the revolutionary super-state’” (p. 52).
Realizing that the innate love of farmers for land ownership and free markets militated against his totalizing ideology, Lenin noted that he would ultimately “‘have to engage in the most decisive, ruthless struggle against them’” (p. 45). He’d found that Communists such as himself knew little about economics—as was evident when he tried to abolish money and banking—and quickly launched the New Economic Policy, effectively restoring important aspects of capitalism. He also had to find effective ways to encourage agricultural productivity, so he delayed collectivizing agriculture in the 1920s. By the end of that decade, however, Joseph Stalin had seized sufficient power to undertake the radical restructuring of Russian agriculture. A 1928 grain crisis prompted Party bureaucrats to mandate production quotas, taxes and distribution mechanisms. They also needed scapegoats to blame and signaled out the best, hardest working and most prosperous farmers (the kulaks who owned a few acres and a handful of animals and even hired laborers as needed) who seemed to qualify as closet capitalists and “wreckers.” As Stalin declared: “‘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’” (p. 115).
Stalin and the Soviet Politburo established the All Union People’s Commissariat of Agriculture, staffed by alleged “experts,” which was authorized to push the peasants into collectives and set utterly utopian, ludicrous goals for yearly harvests. Such policies (part of Stalin’s Five Year Plan) led to an “epoch of dekulakization, of collectivization, and of the terror-famine; of war against the Soviet peasantry, and later against the Ukrainian nation. It may be seen as none of the most significant, as well as one of the most dreadful, periods of modern times” (p. 116). Farmers who failed to meet their quotas or “hoarded” grain (even seed grain!) were arrested and resettled in remote regions if not shot or sent to camps. Conquest documented, in mind-numbing, heart-rending detail, this deliberate destruction of those who stood in the way of Stalin’s grand socialistic agenda. To the Party, in the words of a novelist, “‘Not one of them was guilty of anything; but they belonged to a class that was guilty of everything’” (p. 143). And in the “class struggle” intrinsic to Marxist analysis, evil classes must be destroyed. Sifting through all the documents available to him, Conquest estimates that at least fourteen million peasants perished. “Comparable to the deaths in the major wars of our time,” Stalin’s “harvest of sorrow” may rightly be called genocide.
Above all, Stalin targeted the peasants of the Ukraine, the Don and Kuban, where a massive famine transpired in the early ‘30s. Party activists (generally dispatched from the cities and lacking any knowledge of agriculture) presided over the process. One of them recalled: “‘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’” (p. 233). One of the few Western journalists daring to discern and tell the truth, Malcolm Muggeridge, said: “‘I saw something of the battle that is going on between the government and the peasants. The battlefield is as desolate as nay war and stretches wider; stretches over a large part of Russia. One the one side, millions of starving peasants, their bodies often swollen from lack of food; on the other, soldier members of the GPU carrying out the instruction of the dictatorship of the proletariat. They have gone over the country like a swarm of locusts and taken away everything edible; they had shot or exiled thousands of peasants, sometimes whole villages; they had reduced some of the most fertile land in the world to a melancholy desert’” (p. 260).
Consequently, Soviet agriculture imploded. In 1954 the Nikita Khrushchev admitted that despite the more highly-mechanized farming techniques in the collectives “Soviet agriculture was producing less grain per capita and few cattle absolutely than had been achieved by the muzhik with his wooden plough under Tsarism forty years earlier” (p. 187). And what’s true for agriculture is true for the rest of the USSR under Communist rule—socialism inevitably destroys whatever it controls.
Onetarieva Onetarieva
Conquest takes the reader into a dark, deep journey inside the Stalinist state. He illustrates the destruction of a society which produced in abundance and to excess prior to the socialist boot put on the throat of the hard working, patriotic peasant by the tyrannical leaders of the socailist paradise. Conquest is explicit. The reader feels compassion and great sorrow for the incalcuable suffering of the Soviet Union's most vulnerable men, women and chlldren. It is not possible to read this account of unchecked, central government brutality and not appreciate the horror of what happens to societies in which the ruling elite have no reason to fear the ruled.