[Marxism] Fwd: Red Famine by Anne Applebaum review – did Stalin deliberately let Ukraine starve? | Books | The Guardian

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Aug 26 07:34:52 MDT 2017

Applebaum has, of course, more material at her disposal than Conquest 
had, including large numbers of Ukrainian famine memoirs. Many of these 
are published by the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, which 
has an obvious political agenda, but she is by no means offering an 
uncritical “Ukrainian” account of the famine. Though sympathetic to the 
sentiments behind it, she ultimately doesn’t buy the Ukrainian argument 
that Holodomor was an act of genocide. Her estimate of famine losses in 
Ukraine – 4.5 million people – reflects current scholarship. Her take on 
Stalin’s intentions comes closer than I would to seeing him as 
specifically out to kill Ukrainians, but this is a legitimate difference 
of interpretation. For scholars, the most interesting part of the book 
will be the two excellent historiographical chapters in which she teases 
out the political and scholarly impulses tending to minimise the famine 
in Soviet times (“The Cover-Up”) and does the same for post-Soviet 
Ukrainian exploitation of the issue (“The Holodomor in History and Memory”).


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