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The War Against the Peasantry, 1927-1930: The Tragedy of the Soviet Countryside (Annals of Communism) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 15. Juli 2005

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"This volume-one of the most exciting in the Annals of Communism series-uncovers the Stalinist decision- and policy-making processes at work on momentous new directions for the countryside. A remarkable achievement!"-Mark von Hagen, Columbia University "A monumental and henceforth indispensable guide to the study of collectivization in the USSR. The documents are brilliantly chosen and deeply enlightening, the commentary exemplary, and the scholarly achievement remarkable and enduring."-James C. Scott, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Anthropology and Director of the Program in Agrarian Studies, Yale University -- James C. Scott "This volume-one of the most exciting in the Annals of Communism series-uncovers the Stalinist decision- and policy-making processes at work on momentous new directions for the countryside. A remarkable achievement!"-Mark von Hagen, Columbia University -- Mark von Hagen


This is to be a groundbreaking four-volume account of the collectivization of agriculture in the Soviet Union, based on newly available documents from the archives of the Soviet State, the Communist Party, and the secret police. The collectivization of Soviet agriculture in the late 1920s and 1930s forever altered the country's social and economic landscape. A massive social engineering project, collectivization became the first of a series of bloody landmarks that would come to characterise and define Stalinism. In this revelatory book the most important primary Soviet documents dealing with the brutal economic and cultural subjugation of the Russian peasantry are presented with analysis and commentary. Drawn from previously unavailable and in many cases unknown archives, these harrowing documents provide for the first time an unimpeded view of the experience of the peasantry during the years 1927-1930. The book, the first of four in the series, covers the background of collectivization, its violent implementation, and the mass peasant revolt that ensued.

The documents reveal how repression evolved as a basic tool of governance and how Stalinist policies toward the peasantry developed and were opposed. For its insights into the horrific fate of the Russian peasantry and into Stalin's dictatorship, The War Against the Peasantry takes its place an as unparalleled resource. "This volume - one of the most exciting in the Annals of Communism series - uncovers the Stalinist decision- and policy-making processes at work on momentous new directions for the countryside. A remarkable achievement!" Mark von Hagen, Columbia University

In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
The history of the collectivization of Soviet agriculture has long been obscured by official taboos, historical falsification, and restricted access to archival source material. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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A Must Read For All Historians, Political Scientists & College Students 25. Juli 2009
Von David M. Dougherty - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This is simply an outstanding book, the first volume of a trilogy covering the consolidation of Soviet Communism over the period of 1927 to 1939. Originally it was a five volume work in Russian that is being translated into English and reduced to three volumes. This volume covers the period 1927 through 1930 during which Stalin unleashed his persecution of the peasantry, essentially liquidating the more successful peasants that became defined politically (and sometimes arbitrarily) as Kulaks, but also greatly affecting the poorer peasants. The work is presented with a summary and discussion of events at the beginning of each chapter, then supported by documents reproduced in full as noted in the text. The result is a history that simply cannot be denied by even the most rabid Marxist professor in American universities.

It must be remembered that throughout the period of 1927 to 1939 the Soviet system was presented in American media, most notably the New York Times, as progressive, benign, and a beacon of hope for the world. Thousands of Americans were induced through this propaganda to emigrate to Russia where they perished in Stalin's purge of foreigners. Yet the New York Times continued to report the Soviet "progress" in glowing terms. There is a lesson here that is absolutely applicable to current times.

Stalin was faced with a dilemma in the late 1920s after stabilizing Soviet borders (through losing a war with Poland) and while still attempting to consolidate his powers. The Soviet Union needed to industrialize, preferable rapidly, but was hamstrung with its primary asset being its agricultural production. In order to gain foreign exchange for the purchase of machinery and expertise to industrialize and expand the working class, Stalin began a war on the peasantry, calling for the peasants to remit tribute to the Soviet regime as if they were a colony (albeit an internal one). To make this crime successful along with later repressions, Stalin used his secret service, the OPGU, and his propaganda outlets to turn night into day and convince the people (and the rest of the world) that what happened was not what happened.

Working with a faulty Marxist-Leninist ideology that posited the rural areas were divided into social classes like those in the cities, Stalin began to squeeze the peasants of their production and prosperity (such as it was) through taxation, confiscation, and price-setting. Grain production fell, and Stalin had a crisis that was too good to waste. Blaming local officials and the Kulaks, he began a series of repressive measures, exterminating the primary scapegoats, deporting the remainder of the Kulaks along with many middle and poor peasants to the Gulag, and forcing collectivization. The goal was the complete economic and cultural subjugation of the peasantry that made up almost 80% of the Soviet population.

The peasants revolted, causing Stalin to delay many actions for a growing season while the OPGU identified those responsible for the anti-Soviet agitation. In addition, opposition to Stalin in the Communist Party from the "Right" was neutralized and Stalin and the OPGU emerged in complete control. The peasantry was unable to sustain their opposition (unaided, of course, by foreign intervention or even condemnation of Stalin's actions), and collectivization was pushed through. The result would be mass starvation among the peasantry that will be covered in the second volume -- something also denied by Western journalists like Walter Duranty, the New York Times, and the Roosevelt Administration.

The number of peasants exterminated in Stalin's war against the peasantry is murky due to contradictary evidence, but the generally accepted number is 2-3 million people prior to the mass starvation. It must be remembered that Stalin and Soviet Communism was responsible for the deaths of between seventeen and thirty million individuals in the Soviet Union from 1927 to 1939, making Stalin the world's greatest mass murdered. Hitler pales by comparison with his extirpation of European Jewry. Of note is that Stalin, faced with three-quarters of the Central Committee of the Communist Party being Jewish as he began his rise to power, ultimately exterminated almost every one of those individuals by 1939.

Included in Stalin's persecution of the peasants was his extirpation of religious clergy, the closing and burning of churches, the breakdown of local social institutions and charities (that was a government responsibility), and an elimination of all institutions that might give the peasantry support in its opposition to the Dictatorship of the Communist Party. Even family structures were weakened as children were encouraged to inform on their parents and other relatives. The Soviet Union became a secular-progressive nation brooking no treason through any adherence to anything other than the Party and the State. Sounds like a plan to me. Where have I heard that before? People and their local institutions are not to take care of themselves -- the Government will do it.

So who should read this book? Everybody, but in particular the following:
Those who believe that politicians do not use crises for their own agendas.
Those who believe that "progressive" change is good.
Those who believe it can't happen here. Trust me, sooner or later they will come for you.)
Those who believe that taxation will not be used to further government (or government leaders') policies.
Students being taught by Marxist/"Progressive" professors.

This book and the subsequent two volumes are destined to be extremely important to all readers -- if they will just be read! I noticed the publication date was 2005, and my review is the first review -- a bad omen for us all. Purchase and read this book!
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