Felix Wemheuer's Famine Politics in Maoist China and the Soviet Union PDF

By Felix Wemheuer

ISBN-10: 0300195818

ISBN-13: 9780300195811

During the 20 th century, eighty percentage of all famine sufferers around the globe died in China and the Soviet Union. during this rigorous and considerate learn, Felix Wemheuer analyzes the old and political roots of those socialist-era famines, during which overambitious business courses recommended through Stalin and Mao Zedong created larger mess ups than these suffered below prerevolutionary regimes.

targeting famine as a political device, Wemheuer systematically exposes how conflicts approximately nutrients between peasants, city populations, and the socialist country ended in the hunger loss of life of thousands. an immense contribution to chinese language and Soviet heritage, this provocative research examines the long term results of the nice famines at the dating among the nation and its electorate and argues that the teachings governments discovered from the catastrophes enabled them to beat famine of their later a long time of rule.

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Sample text

Peasants ate best after the harvest in August, when livestock were also slaughtered. During the winter all fresh foods, such as dairy products and fresh vegetables, disappeared. They were replaced by pickled cabbage, beetroot, and salted meat. 25 Despite improvements in production, Russian agriculture was highly vulnerable to natural disasters. Arcadius Kahan counted seventeen years of natural calamities and nineteen years of significantly lowerthan-average population growth between 1858 and 1914.

The years after the end of the famine in the mid-1930s were considered the “good years” under the rule of Stalin. In 1941, the German Army attacked the Soviet Union, and the end of the war was followed by the next famine in 1946–1947. Some scholars argue that the Russian empire could have fed its population and still exported grain, and they regard the famines of 1921, 1941–1943, and 1947 as war-related disasters. ” However, taking into account the long list of disasters, each encompassing millions of deaths and all occurring within the lifetime of a single peasant, Russia and the Soviet Union were indeed a “land of famine,” at least between 1891 and 1947.

8 In the context of the Japanese invasion of China and the war of resistance, famine once again occurred. In June 1938, the nationalist government destroyed the dikes of the Yellow River in order to stop the advance of the Japanese Army on the city of Wuhan. The resulting flood, as well as the famine and epidemics caused by it, created close to 4 million refugees and killed as many as 900,000 people. 9 The government did not admit responsibility but instead in the media accused the Japanese of destroying the dikes, using the flood as an incentive for nationalist mobilization, and recruiting flood victims as soldiers.

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Famine Politics in Maoist China and the Soviet Union by Felix Wemheuer


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