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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a must to understanding the Ukrainian psyche., November 27, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Famine in the Soviet Ukraine 1932-1933: A Memorial Exhibition (Paperback)
This book is a catalog of the 1983 exhibition of the Harvard College Library, the Ukrainian Research Institute, and the Ukrainian Studies Fund of Harvard University which marked the 50th anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933. As such, the book is more pictures than words, but they present a powerful case against not only the Stalinist regime, but against Stalin himself in only eighty-some pages.
To understand the current economic, political, and social situation in struggling Ukraine one needs to understand the Ukrainian psyche. To understand the Ukrainian psyche one must understand their peculiar history as an oft-invaded frontier-land, and especially as a vassal of Russia for nearly a millenium. This book starkly illustrates a particularly grim episode which occurred early in the 70 year period of Soviet subjugation.
Although the famine was not limited strictly to Ukraine, it was a Stalin-induced event primarily directed at breaking down Ukrainian resistance to collectivization and destruction of the "kurkuls", the rich Ukrainian peasant class. An overarching aim of Stalin's was the completion of Ukrainian subjugation which had not yet been successful to that point of Soviet rule.
This catalog of the 1983 exhibition is a powerful examination of one of the clearer cases in world history of state terrorism. Although viewed in retrospect, the collection of both illustrations and photographs appears as a remarkable foreshadowing of human tragedies like the holocaust, Rawanda, and Bosnia. The book is must reading and a vital reference for anyone with an interest in Ukraine.
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A Customer