The Harvest of Sorrow

The Harvest of Sorrow : Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine

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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. 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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 424 pages
  • 146.81 x 218.19 x 27.69mm | 603.28g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations
  • 0195040546
  • 9780195040548
  • 1,798,343

Back cover copy

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.
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Table of contents


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

Part II. To Crush the Peasantry
5. Collision Course, 1928-1929
6. The Fate of 'Kulaks'
7. Crash Collectivization and its Defeat, January-March 1930
8. The End of the Free Peasantry, 1930-1932
9. Central Asia and the Kazakh Tragedy
10. The Churches and the People

Part III. The Terror-Famine
11. Assault on the Ukraine
12. The Famine Rages
13. A Land Laid to Waste
14. Kuban, Don and Volga
15. Children
16. The Death Roll
17. The Record of the West
18. Responsibilities

Epilogue: The Aftermath
Select Bibliography
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Review quote

"A fine, thoroughly documented full-dress historical study of this genocidal campaign. Conquest grabs his reader at the start."--National Review
"Vital to understanding 'Stalin's revolution.'"--Patrick J. Rollins, Old Dominion University
"The Harvest of Sorrow is not just a heroic work of scholarship, but an embarrassment to Mikhail Gorbachev and an antidote to wishful thinking about the Soviet Union."*
"Essential reading for those who wish to understand the nature of the Soviet system...likely to become a classic."--The Wall Street Journal
"The Harvest of Sorrow is essential reading for those who wish to understand the nature of the Soviet system, and like Mr. Conquest's earlier account of Stalin's purges of the 1930s, The Great Terror, it is likely to become a classic."--The Wall Street Journal
"The most comprehensive history of the Soviet agricultural crisis....Also the most vivid portrayal of one of the great crimes against humanity of the twentieth century."--American Historical Review
"The first major scholarly book on the horrors [of Soviet collectivization]....Conquest has succeeded in restoring [the peasants'] human faces."--Time
"A very good book of its kind."--T.E. Smuck, University of Hawaii
"A superb book on a fascinating topic."--Bruce F. Adams, University of Louisville
"A superb book on one of the most important questions in Soviet history."--Herbert Ellison, University of Washington
"Excellent....It contains information on the Stalinist era, especially the consequences of collectivization, unavailable in any other book on Soviet society."--L.M. Kowal, University of Michigan
"[A] superb work of history."--Newsweek
"Meticulously researched...Robert Conquest presents a chilling account of Stalin's regime cold bloodedly killing twenty million of its own subjects."--The Washington Post Book World
"Powerful and well-documented."--The New Republic
"An excellent book....It is an eye-opener about a period of Soviet history that has been systematically falsified and ignored too often."--Steven M. Miner, Ohio University
"A carefully researched and superbly written study. It deals with a period, and a set of problems, that rank among the most important (and most neglected) of Soviet historical studies."--Los Angeles Times Book Review
"A comprehensive record of what may stand as the crime of the century."--The Chicago Tribune
"Brilliant and brutal. Should be required reading for all of Gorbachev's apologists."--John C.K. Daly, Kansas State University
"Absolutely essential to an understanding of the Soviet Union....Meticulously researched and well-written and the only comprehensive study of the appalling tragedy which befell in the Ukraine during collectivization."--Charles W. Chappius, Chicago State University
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About Conquest

Robert Conquest is Senior Research Fellow and Scholar-Curator of the East European Collection at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author of numerous books on Soviet studies and has published poetry, criticism, and fiction.
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Rating details

734 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 44% (324)
4 36% (267)
3 13% (99)
2 3% (25)
1 3% (19)
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