Farming The Red Land
This is the first history of the Jewish agricultural colonies that were established in Crimea and Southern Ukraine in 1924 and that, fewer than 20 years later, ended in tragedy. Jonathan Dekel-Chen opens an extraordinary window on Soviet rural life during these turbulent years, and he documents the remarkable relations that developed among the American-Jewish sponsors of the ambitious project, the Soviet authorities, and the colonists themselves.
Drawing on extensive and largely untouched archives and a wealth of previously unpublished oral histories, the book revises what has been understood about these agricultural settlements. Dekel-Chen offers new conclusions about integration and separation among Soviet Jews, the contours of international relations, and the balance of political forces within the Jewish world during this volatile period.