Cover: A Century of Russian Agriculture: From Alexander II to Khruschev, from Harvard University PressCover: A Century of Russian Agriculture in E-DITION

Russian Research Center Studies 63

A Century of Russian Agriculture

From Alexander II to Khruschev

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674366350

Publication Date: 01/01/1970

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

“The failure of the annual harvest is still an event of greater importance in the lives of the Russian people than…what happens to steel production.”—from the Introduction

With over 540 million acres sown to crops the Soviet Union was one of the world’s agricultural giants. Yet agriculture was the Achilles heel of the Soviet economy. Public pronouncements of Russian leaders—prerevolutionary and postrevolutionary alike—attested the crucial role of the agricultural problem, its economically and politically explosive nature, and its persistence over the years.

This is one of the most thorough studies ever made of Russian agriculture. Emphasizing the continuity of problems and policies too often dichotomized into tsarist and Soviet eras, Lazar Volin has created a monumental work—a sweeping panorama of the century between the emancipation of the serfs and the 1960s.

The author begins by recounting the development of serfdom and describing the emancipation and subsequent problem of land distribution. In the first part of the book he also explores the first agrarian revolution (1905) and the reforms that followed it, as well as the conditions during World War I that led to the Revolution of 1917. In Part II he treats agricultural conditions during the Civil War, attempts made to restore the economy by means of the New Economic Policy, Stalin’s program of forced collectivization and liquidation of the kulaks, agricultural conditions during World War II—including Nazi policies in occupied territory—and the policies of Stalin in the postwar recovery. The longest section of the book is devoted to the Khrushchev era. It covers capital investment and expansion of sown acreage, incentives for the kolkhozniks, their income, and the supply of consumer goods, as well as mechanization and electrification programs, the state farms, rates of production, and administrative control and planning. The final chapter summarizes the past century and comments on the outlook for the future.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy, by James Hankins, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with James Hankins, author of Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy

With Virtue Politics, James Hankins has delivered a bold, revisionist account of the political thought of the Italian Renaissance—from Petrarch to Machiavelli—that reveals the all-important role of character in shaping society, both in citizens and in their leaders. We spoke to him about the importance of virtue to leadership in Renaissance Italy—and its relevance to our own time.

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library ( extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.