As Russia marks one hundred years since the revolution, the Hoover Institution Press releases Hammer, Sickle, and Soil: The Soviet Drive to Collectivize Agriculture. This study of the world’s first mass experiment in social engineering is lavishly illustrated with more than sixty posters from the Hoover Institution Library & Archives’ world-renowned collection of Soviet posters. The volume is the first comprehensive history of Soviet collectivization since the fall of communism and the opening of the Russian archives.
Author Jonathan Daly recounts how Stalin forced tens of millions of peasants throughout the USSR into 250,000 collective farms during the period from 1929 to 1933. The policy was intended to bring to Russia Marx’s promised bright future of socialism but instead caused widespread peasant unrest and led to millions dying in the famine of 1932–33.
“Not only does Hammer, Sickle, and Soil narrate what arguably was one of the most significant—and devastating—policies put forward during Stalin’s rule in Russia, but it is thoughtfully designed to incorporate posters that are critical to illuminating the ideology of one of the world’s cruelest authoritarian regimes as it enforced large-scale agricultural reform upon its citizens,” writes Hoover Library & Archives director Eric Wakin. “The wide gap between the poster images of young worker-heroes behind tractor wheels or bringing in idyllic harvests and the reality of the brutal experience of Russian peasants under Stalin’s collectivization tell a crucial story in Soviet Russia’s history.”
Drawing on the latest scholarship and a profusion of formerly classified primary sources, this volume offers an accessible and accurate narrative for the general reader. The book is illustrated with propaganda posters that graphically portray the drama and trauma of the revolution in Soviet agriculture under Stalin. In chilling detail, the author describes how the havoc and destruction wrought in the countryside sowed the seeds of failure of the entire Soviet experiment.
About the Author
Jonathan Daly is a professor of history at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is the author of numerous books, most recently, Historians Debate the Rise of the West (2015).
For more information on Hammer, Sickle, and Soil visit HooverPress.org. For more information on the Hoover Institution, visit Hoover.org or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Scribd (keyword: Hoover Institution).
About the Hoover Institution: The Hoover Institution, Stanford University, is a public policy research center devoted to the advanced study of economics, politics, history, and political economy—both domestic and foreign—as well as international affairs. With its eminent scholars and world-renowned Library & Archives, the Hoover Institution seeks to improve the human condition by advancing ideas that promote economic opportunity and prosperity and secure and safeguard peace for America and all mankind.
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