Red Famine | Penguin Random House Canada

Red Famine

Stalin's War on Ukraine

Publisher: Signal
Winner of the 2018 Lionel Gelber Prize

From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag and Iron Curtain, winner of the Cundill Prize and a finalist for the National Book Award, a revelatory history of Stalin's greatest crime.


In 1929, Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization -- in effect a second Russian revolution -- which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least five million people perished between 1931 and 1933 in the U.S.S.R. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum reveals for the first time that three million of them died not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy, but because the state deliberately set out to kill them. Applebaum proves what has long been suspected: that Stalin set out to exterminate a vast swath of the Ukrainian population and replace them with more cooperative, Russian-speaking peasants. A peaceful Ukraine would provide the Soviets with a safe buffer between itself and Europe, and would be a bread basket region to feed Soviet cities and factory workers.
     When the province rebelled against collectivization, Stalin sealed the borders and began systematic food seizures. Starving, people ate anything: grass, tree bark, dogs, corpses. In some cases they killed one another for food. Devastating and definitive, Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evil.

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In the years 1932 and 1933, a catastrophic famine swept across the Soviet Union. It began in the chaos of collectivization, when millions of peasants were forced off their land and made to join state farms. It was then exacerbated, in the autumn of 1932, when the Soviet Politburo, the elite leadership of the Soviet...
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PRAISE FOR

Praise for Iron Curtain:
 • "Anne Applebaum has written a masterly account." --Niall Ferguson
 • " . . . an exceptionally important book. . . . wise, perceptive, remarkably objective, and brilliantly researched." --Antony Beevor

Praise for Gulag:
 • "Magisterial. . . . Certain to remain the definitive account of its subject for years to come. . . . An immense achievement." --The New Criterion
 • "An excellent account of the rise and fall of the Soviet labor camps between 1917 and 1986. . . . A splendid book." --New York Review of Books
 • "Should become the standard history of one of the greatest evils of the 20th century." --The Economist
 • "Ambitious and well-documented . . . Invaluable" --The New Yorker