Anne Applebaum is a journalist and prize-winning historian with a particular expertise in the history of communism and the experience of post-communist “democratization” in the Soviet Union and central Europe. She is the author of several books, including Gulag: A History, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction and Iron Curtain, which won the 2013 Cundill Prize for Historical Literature.
Red Famine—Stalin’s War on Ukraine
In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization—in effect a second Russian revolution—which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum argues that more than three million of those dead were Ukrainians who perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill them. Applebaum proves what has long been suspected: after a series of rebellions unsettled the province, Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry. Applebaum’s compulsively readable narrative recalls one of the worst crimes of the twentieth century and shows how it may foreshadow a new threat to the political order in the twenty-first.