The Tragedy Of The Soviet Countryside

The War Against the Peasantry, 1927–1930, Volume One
Viola, Lynne
Danilov, V.P.
Ivnitskii, N.A.
Kozlov, Denis
Date published: 
July 2005

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.

Lynne Viola is professor of history, University of Toronto. The late V. P. Danilov was a member of the Institute of History at the Russian Academy of Sciences. N. A. Ivnitskii is a member of the Institute of History at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Denis Kozlov is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto.