Key Study of the Holodomor by Leading Scholar in Ukraine Appears in English

    Book Cover, Stanislav Kulchytsky “The Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine”. Book and cover design by Halyna Klid/CIUS

    Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies.

    The Famine of 1932–1933 in Ukraine: An Anatomy of the Holodomor is a distillation of 30 years of study of the topic by one of Ukraine’s leading historians. In this account—an updated translation of Ukraïns’kyi Holodomor v konteksti polityky Kremlia pochatku 1930-kh rr. (2014)—Stanislav Kulchytsky ably incorporates a vast array of sources and literature that have become available in the past three decades into a highly readable narrative, explaining the motives, circumstances and course of this terrible crime against humanity. As the author shows, the Holodomor was triggered by the Bolshevik effort to build a communist socioeconomic order in the Soviet Union. For the peasant majority of the population, this meant the forcible collectivization of individual farms, the seizure of livestock and farm implements, and the conversion of independent farmers into agricultural laborers. Excessive requisitioning of grain and other foodstuffs in the collectivization drive led to famine and deaths in grain-producing regions of the USSR by early 1932.

    In Ukraine, punitive measures authorized by the Kremlin’s top leadership greatly worsened the famine in late 1932 and turned it into the Holodomor, which claimed more than three million lives in the first half of 1933. Identifying key events and decisions that produced the Holodomor, Kulchytsky also analyzes economic and political factors, including the national dimension in Ukraine.

    The book begins with the author’s address to the reader, presenting his view of the Holodomor as genocide. In addition to the main text, the volume includes a preface, afterword, glossary, list of abbreviations and acronyms, bibliography, and a short essay on the author and his writings. The book also contains reproductions of photographs of Holodomor victims and scenes. It is a well-written concise study of a state-induced famine that is now recognized as one of the greatest tragedies to have occurred in twentieth-century Europe.

    Stanislav Kulchytsky, one of Ukraine’s most prolific historians, pioneered the study of the Holodomor in the late 1980s. Educated as an economic historian, he has written extensively on the interwar period and held leading administrative posts in the Institute of Ukrainian History, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

    The Famine of 1932–1933 in Ukraine: An Anatomy of the Holodomor is available in a paperback edition (for $31.95, plus taxes and shipping; outside Canada, prices are in U.S. dollars). Orders can be placed via the secure on-line ordering system of CIUS Press at or by contacting CIUS Press, 430 Pembina Hall, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2H8; tel.: (780) 492-2973; fax: (780) 492-4967; e-mail: