Friday book # 41: Harvest of Sorrow

This week’s book is an important one. When it was first published, Robert Conquest’s The Harvest of Sorrow broke new ground in revealing details of the famine which struck parts of Kazakhstan, southern Russia, and Ukraine in 1932-33. Conquest suggests that the famine was a) a deliberate act of policy, and b) specifically targeted against Ukrainians. Conquest did not have access to archival sources. More recent archive-based research, such as that of R.W. Davies and Stephen G. Wheatcroft, has come to rather more nuanced conclusions, but Conquest’s thesis still has supporters. The debate continues to this day.

harvest-sorrow

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11 thoughts on “Friday book # 41: Harvest of Sorrow”

  1. This:

    “When it was first published, Robert Conquest’s The Harvest of Sorrow broke new ground”

    and:

    “Conquest suggests that the famine was a) a deliberate act of policy, and b) specifically targeted against Ukrainians”

    with:

    “Conquest did not have access to archival sources.”

    is a fine study in serial self-contradiction. In just one short paragraph.

    “…Conquest’s thesis still has supporters. The debate continues to this day.”

    Translation: Russophobia and religious belief in the inherent EVIL of Russia (no matter its form) is much stronger than the facts.

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  2. P.S. About sides and supporters. I think Conquest’s supporters need to team up with supporters of Fomenko and New Chronology. I’m sure they will find a lot in common.

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  3. I probably already posted, in one of these threads, my favorite quote of Soviet dissident Dovlatov: ‘next to communism the thing I hate most is anti-communism’.

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  4. The “debate” continues only in the manner of some people continuing to refuse to accept facts because they prefer their own versions of history. Whether this constitutes debate is of course a matter of debate.

    I am curious, do you know of any researchers who do make use of things like primary sources that continue to support Conquest’s comical views?

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      1. Why all of these shy and conscietous “historians” (sorry for the word “historians”) while writing about the Famine of 1932-33 are so eager to place all the blame on Stalin and USSR authorities, to the level of deliberately fudging the facts/ignoring them alltogether and totally ignoring the actions of deliberate sabotage by kulaks and local corrupt authorities? What, because “Capitalism Uber Alles”?

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  5. For those of you who didn’t read this 33 pg… thingy… by Ellman (published in 2007), here basically at the beginning the real reason why this issues was so “important” for the honest, and balanced western academitians:

    “In particular, Stalin’s actions now have to be discussed against
    the background of the recent Ukrainian request to the UN that Stalin’s actions be recognised by the international community as genocide, and in the context of the development of genocide studies as an academic discipline.”

    Here you are! International community to the rescue of the young and oh so successful post Orange Maidan Ukraine! All in the name to force Evil and Totalitarian Russia (which is always Evil and Totalitarian) to start, finally, to “Pay and Repent” ™.

    The list of literature is thoroughly handshakable. I.e. it’s short on primarily source, and long on historiogrphy, especially written by Ellman himself (so modest!) and such notable examples of calm, and balanced analyses as this butthurt twat Khlievnyuk.

    It’s also really charming the use of the word “murdered” and “killed” instead of “executed” by Ellamn. Because, apparently, only civilized Racially Superior State of the West ™ executes – and only Backward Asiatic Despoty of Russia ™ – kills. And all “killed” therefore were “innocent victims of the regime” (c) – a priori.

    What I wonder though – do you, professor, also subscribe to R. Conquest’s and his faithful cultists narrative?

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