This book was strangely tragicomic. On the one hand, the descriptions of starvation, abject suffering and the results (suicide, murder and cannibalism all feature within these pages) were physically painful to read. It had a stronger affect on me, in fact, than the books I've read about the Holocaust.On the other hand, there were times when I felt like laughing because the Soviet officials brought in to maximize productivity on the collective farm knew NOTHING about farming and they were so stup [...]
It's very hard to imagine people starving from here in suburbia, counting calories and fighting the obesity war. This very personal account of the events in Dolot's village reads like a novel but is a chilling record of the Holodomor or death by starvation of millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s, which was both the results of failed economic policy of the Communists, and a deliberate act of genocide. Tough stuff to readbut essential knowledge.
There aren't many books available from people who lived through the ukranian famine. As other reviewers have said, this is difficult to read because of its unbelievable horror. I really enjoyed a first person account of this completely under-reported atrocity. Why this isn't more in the forefront of all-time-world-horrors is beyond me.
As expected, this book was a hard read. Miron Dolot's memories and thoughts on Ukraine's Holodomor ruminated for 50 years before this book was published. Russian and Ukrainian history is not something that was taught to me in school. I had never heard of the Holodomor until I came to Ukraine as a Peace Corps volunteer. It was every bit as bad as Hitler's Holocaust and every bit as important to study. Dolot does an excellent job of explaining exactly how Stalin was able to execute millions of his [...]
Man's inhumanity to man knows no bounds. The paranoia and power-hunger of Stalin's USSR used a systematic approach to annihilating Ukrainian farmers in the early 1930s as the collectivization of the "breadbasket of Europe" failed miserably. Ukrainian farmers were an independent lot, and the Soviets could not tolerate this. Thus the imposed famine that killed 7 million Ukrainian farmers and their families in a matter of two years. A survivor's tale tells all about the death of his village.
Great memoir explaining first hand how Stalin's policies directly effected caused the death of millions of Ukrainian farmers between 1930 and 1933.The author tells his story of surviving as well as dealing with the outrageous demands from the government. Excellent lesson in the outcome of communism and how absolute power corrupts.
Should be required reading for a history lesson in Marxism / Communism / Socialism. It's amazing what one human will do to another when an overreaching government promises goodies in exchange for loyalty to the system, whatever that system is, at the expense of the innocent. Also, a very important lesson in why the 2nd Amendment should never be taken lightly. Why this evil event in history is hardly mentioned is very puzzling!
To understand why communism does not work in real life, read this true account of forced collectivization and the starvation of the Ukraine in the early 1930s by the Soviet Union's agricultural policies. Be forewarned: graphic descriptions of starvation are in this memoir. A must read for history lovers.
I would like to thank Miron Dolot for his great work of revealing the inconvenient truth that Russia has been trying to hide for many years what the Communism really did for people, even for their own citizens. The Communism is the worst crime committed by humanity since we killed Christ.
This is the story of Stalin's forced collectivization of Ukranian farms in the early 1930's, which the author lived through as a teen. Seven million people in the "breadbasket of Europe" were deliberately starved to death at Stalin's command. Made even more interesting considering what Putin is doing in Ukraine now."The farmers had often witnessed the collapse of these types of collective farms (voluntary ones), and therefore laughed at the rumors of collectivization. Why would any government wi [...]
This book was very powerful in it's descriptions of surviving a famine that is believed to be largely man made. The author's descriptions of his memories were so vivid that at times it made me feel sick to my stomach. This was a great book to inform me of an event that I never even knew took place.
This story by a survivor of the 1932-1933 Execution by Hunger of at least 7 million Ukrainians by the Soviets was a very painful read for me because of a close personal connection. My maternal family lived through it in the same oblast of Ukraine as the author.
Valuable as a historical document, not so much as a piece of literature. The author tells instead of showing. As well, I found the language to be clunky, but perhaps that's unfair of me, considering English is probably the author's second/third/etc language.
Gut wrenching but unique first hand account of what happened to people in a Ukrainian village, where cynical/sinister Soviet policy combined with solipsism and fanaticism all the way down the line of party apparatchiks, caused mass deaths from starvation. This story was played out all over Ukraine, later all over China, and even more in Cambodia. There are other historical accounts and data from scholarly research, but this book tells a personal story. Another book I would recommend, which combi [...]
This book provides a first person account of the tragedy of the forced Ukrainian famine of 1929-1933, where about "seven million people in the 'breadbasket of Europe' were deliberately starved to death."Very gripping.Incredible detail of how the Soviet system implemented their "voluntary" collectivisation of the Ukrainian farms. The methods described are all the more chilling, when one considers who our own "voluntary" tax system, and voluntary Obamacare system are implemented. The voluntary win [...]
This is a difficult book to read at times. The facts revealed by the author who experienced the holocaust first hand, are hard to comprehend - calculated murder of the cruelest sort. Nevertheless, it is a story that must be exposed after being suppressed and denied by Stalin and his cohorts for many years. The book is part of the background research for the novel I am currently writing, but the personal story was absorbing. Truth IS stranger than fiction. I was left with a reinforced belief that [...]
While this is a tragic event in History, I found it a very hard read, mainly because the story is quickly bogged down with names and ranks of anyone and everyone that contributed to it's occurance. The reader must weed the actual 'story' from the endless rhetoric and meetings that offer little insight into the personal struggles of the people living through this ordeal.I lost interest when I could no longer follow the story for these very reasons and did not finish the book~
Given this was written long after the events in the early 1930s, it's hard to believe the detailed recall of conversations but ignoring that, the story is engrossing and at the same level as reading stories of similar famine in Mao's China. Inhumane political maneuvering by crazy dictators. Like the Holocaust, a horror.
Not the happiest of reads. And the first hand experience of being a small farmer in the Ukraine during the start of collectivization goes so far as to explaining why my parents always bought bread in every trip to the grocery store, their passion for vegetable gardens, and their paranoia over neighbors "seeing or hearing" too much. Excellent read for anyone of Uki descent.
Interesting history on a subject I never knew about, but was weighted down by too much little detail that left me wondering if Dolot added for effect. I do not doubt his testimony or what happened on large, but he recounts conversations 60+ years after the fact, as well as people's reactions.