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The Politics of Soviet Famines under Lenin and Stalin
Famine punctuated the first three decades of Soviet history. Disputes over Soviet famines have long been among the major controversies in the historical field. Historians debate the causes of Soviet famines, including to what extent they resulted from or were exacerbated by deliberate government policies, while demographers disagree about their death tolls. Three specialists will discuss similarities and contrasts of the three major Soviet famines: the so-called Volga famine of 1921–22 in the aftermath of the Russian Civil War, the famine of 1932–33 amid the campaign to collectivize agriculture—memorialized by Ukrainians as the Holodomor—and the famine of 1946–47 in the wake of the Second World War.


Norman M. Naimark, Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of Eastern European Studies, Senior Fellow, Freeman-Spogli Institute, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Bertrand M. Patenaude, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution

Amir Weiner, Associate Professor of History, Director of Graduate Studies, Stanford University


Jovana Lazić Knežević, Associate Director, Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES)

About this Series
The Bread + Medicine Speaker Series highlights conversations with historians of Russia and Ukraine and leading experts on famine and humanitarianism. It is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Bread + Medicine: Saving Lives in a Time of Famine devoted to the American famine relief mission to Soviet Russia in 1921–1923.

Feb 6, 2023 04:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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