This book describes the famine, engineered by Stalin in 1932-33, that was meant to destroy Ukraine. It begins in 1917, with the Ukrainian revolution and the Ukrainian national movement that challenged Bolshevik rule. It ends in the present, with a discussion of the ongoing politics of memory in Ukraine. Published at a moment when Russia is once again attempting to subvert and subdue Ukraine, Anne Applebaum’s book is witness to a genocide that killed nearly four million people, destroyed the aspirations of Ukraine for two generations and has real echoes in the politics of the present.
Reflecting 25 years worth of scholarship on the Ukraine and several national campaigns to collect oral history and memoirs, this recent research has yielded thousands of new testimonies from all over the country. From these sources, Applebaum has sought updated answers to troublesome questions:
What happened in the autumn, winter and spring of 1932–3? What chain of events, and what mentality, led to the famine? Who was responsible? How does this terrible episode fit into the broader history of Ukraine and of the Ukrainian national movement? And what happened afterwards?
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