Stalin's Peasants

Stalin's Peasants : Resistance and Survival in the Russian Village After Collectivization

3.76 (51 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Drawing on newly-opened Soviet archives, especially the letters of complaint and petition with which peasants deluged the Soviet authorities in the 1930s, Stalin's Peasants analyses peasants' strategies of resistance and survival in the new world of the collectivized village. Stalin's Peasants is a story of struggle between transformationally-minded Communists and traditionally-minded peasants over the terms of collectivization: a struggle of opposing practices, not a struggle in which either side clearly articulated its position. But it is also a story about the impact of collectivization on the internal social relations and culture of the village, exploring questions of authority and leadership, feuds, denunciations, rumors, and changes in religious observance. For the first time, it is possible to see the real people behind the facade of the "Potemkin village" created by Soviet propagandists. In the Potemkin village, happy peasants clustered around a kolkhoz (collective farm) tractor, praising Stalin and promising to produce more grain as a patriotic duty. In the real Russian village of the 1930s, as we learn from Soviet political police reports, sullen and hungry peasants described collectivization as a "second serfdom," cursed all Communists, and blamed Stalin personally for their plight. Sheila Fitzpatrick's work is truly a landmark in studies of the Stalinist period-a richly-documented social history told from the traumatic experiences of the long-suffering underclass of peasants. Anyone interested in Soviet and Russian history, peasant studies, or social history will appreciate this major contribution to our understanding of life in Stalin's Russia.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 408 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 30mm | 679.99g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0195104595
  • 9780195104592
  • 521,758

Review quote

well-researched and richly detailed ... It adds a great deal of new information on rural conditions and attitudes in the 1930s. No other work comes close to it in recounting the tragedy of collectivization from the peasant's point of view. * Times Literary Supplement *show more

About Sheila Fitzpatrick

Sheila Fitzpatrick is Bernadotte E. Schmitt Professor of History at the University of Chicago. She is the author or editor of numerous books including The Cultural Front: Power and Culture in Revolutionary Russia (1992).show more

Rating details

51 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 35% (18)
4 27% (14)
3 22% (11)
2 10% (5)
1 6% (3)
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