Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine

Anne Applebaum

Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine
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Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine

Anne Applebaum

A powerful history of one the most devastating episodes in the twentieth century, by ‘the leading historian of Soviet crimes’ (Sunday Times) In 1932-33, nearly four million Ukrainians died of starvation, having been deliberately deprived of food. Red Famine shows how this happened, who was responsible, and what the consequences were. The book draws on a mass of archival material and first-hand testimony. It includes accounts by survivors describing what human beings can do when driven mad by hunger. It shows how the Soviet state used propaganda to turn neighbours against each other in order to expunge supposedly ‘anti-revolutionary’ elements. It also records the actions of extraordinary individuals who did all they could to relieve the suffering. The famine was rapidly followed by an attack on Ukraine’s cultural and political leadership - and then by a denial that it had ever happened. The Soviet authorities were determined not only that Ukraine should abandon its national aspirations, but that the country’s true history should be buried along with its millions of victims. Red Famine, a triumph of scholarship and human sympathy, is a milestone in the recovery of those memories and that history.

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