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  • Red Famine

  • Stalin's War on Ukraine
  • Written by: Anne Applebaum
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
  • Length: 17 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (91 ratings)

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Red Famine cover art

Red Famine

Written by: Anne Applebaum
Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag and the National Book Award finalist Iron Curtain, a revelatory history of one of Stalin's greatest crimes - the consequences of which still resonate today.

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. At least five million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR. But instead of sending relief, the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem. 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. The state sealed the republic's borders and seized all available food. Starvation set in rapidly, and people ate anything: grass, tree bark, dogs, corpses. In some cases they killed one another for food. Devastating and definitive, Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evil.

Today, Russia, the successor to the Soviet Union, has placed Ukrainian independence in its sights once more. Applebaum's compulsive narrative recalls one of the worst crimes of the 20th century and shows how it may foreshadow a new threat to the political order in the 21st.

©2017 Anne Applebaum (P)2017 Random House Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Red Famine

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    4 out of 5 stars

A Thorough Study of Holodomor

This is a difficult book to listen to due to it's content. It provides an eye opening and painstaking account of the atrocities perpetrated by the communist state, directed at the helm by Stalin himself, against the Ukrainian peasants during the 1920s and 30s - from state-directed mass-starvation (designed as a retaliatory strategy to weaken the "anti-collectivist" peasant class), to the subsequent bureaucratic cover up, as well as the ruthless dehumanization of the kulak peasants by Soviet authorities on all levels of government. It is an important chapter in 20th century history that is rarely taught in public institutions in the west and I am very glad I stumbled upon this book. Makes me want to read more about the Stalinist era and its various histories throughout the USSR.

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A Terrible but Essential History

Very thorough account of a horrific event. Painful to hear at times, but very helpful in understanding the origins of the current war in Ukraine.

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excellent but...

well written, well researched using newly available archival materials contribution to the study and elucidation of this topic

very compelling, and wonderfully read

but... this otherwise excellent production is marred by the reader of the ukrainian passages. the ukrainian is read as if it was russian!

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Enlightening

I’ve always heard about the famine but never really read up on it. This book is fantastic and I really enjoyed it. It provided great historical context and held nothing back. Would definitely recommend

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A must read

People my age faun over celebrities, well my ‘celebrities’ are people such as Anne Applebaum. Her books are such an amazing and captivating read. I can not recommend this book enough. Years of meticulous research went into this well crafted book. Well done Anne, I know I will never get the chance to meet you but I hope you know how much people appreciate your work.

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Excellent but dark and disturbing

Incredible book!! Applebaum's research is exhaustive and fascinating though the subject matter is dark and disturbing at times. Glad to know that this genocide which the various authorities over the decades have tried to hide is illuminated and exposed by this great book. I will definitely re-listen to this book again and read Applebaum's other books. The narration was crisp and clean with good pronunciation (or at least it seemed so to me). I liked that Torren didn't put on accents or do voices when speaking as other characters. I personally prefer to listen to a reading that is not a performance but rather, a clear reading of the material without individualizing it much and distracting the listener. Great book that should be read by everyone and a sad history that should not be forgotten.

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The truth about Russia

This is a story that needs to be told and that the west needs to hear.

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Essential book - must read for all!

This is an incredible telling of a tragic famine. This book helped me understand the modern relation between Ukraine and Russia and it's genocidal past. The audio performance is perfect! The structure of the book is great as well. 5/5

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The brutal truth

a clear depiction of one of the most denied genocides of modern human history. A must for those devoted to the study of Holodomor.

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Reviewing for entry into contest.

This book was great. I really enjoyed listening to the speaker and the content was fascinating. It is obviously very well researched, and provided a detailed history of the famine. I have read others by Anne and she is a great writer, and clearly knows her content. #Audible1

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