About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: Inventing a Soviet Countryside: State Power ...
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press February 1, 2004, Pittsburg, Pa.
Publication Date: 2004
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: None
Edition: 1st Edition
About this title
Following the largest peasant revolution in history, Russia's urban-based Bolshevik regime was faced with a monumental task: to peacefully “modernize” and eventually “socialize” the peasants in the countryside surrounding Russia's cities. To accomplish this, the Bolshevik leadership created the People's Commissariat of Agriculture (Narkomzem), which would eventually employ 70,000 workers. This commissariat was particularly important, both because of massive famine and because peasants composed the majority of Russia's population; it was also regarded as one of the most moderate state agencies because of its nonviolent approach to rural transformation.
Working from recently opened historical archives, James Heinzen presents a balanced, thorough examination of the political, social, and cultural dilemmas present in the Bolsheviks' strategy for modernizing of the peasantry. He especially focuses on the state employees charged with no less than a complete transformation of an entire class of people. Heinzen ultimately shows how disputes among those involved in this plan-from the government, to Communist leaders, to the peasants themselves-led to the shuttering of the Commissariat of Agriculture and to Stalin's cataclysmic 1929 collectivization of agriculture.From the Back Cover:
"In coming to power and surviving a devastating civil war, the Bolsheviks faced the daunting task of working out and implementing ideologically inspired policies to transform the underdeveloped Soviet countryside. . . . Avoiding neat generalizations, Heinzen does justice to the complexity of the period that ended with forced collectivization, a purge of Narkomzem, and the Stalin faction's consolidation of power."-Donald J. Raleigh, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"Academic communities and policy makers today are struggling with renewed energy to comprehend the special qualities of Russian political behavior and its links with the past. Inventing a Soviet Countryside makes a significant and lasting contribution to our understanding of this history and of the development of the Russo-Soviet state."-Don K. Rowney, Bowling Green State University
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