Red Bread

Red Bread

Collectivization in a Russian Village
Maurice Hindus, foreword by Ronald Grigor Suny
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 12/22/1988
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-20485-1
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First published in 1931 and long out of print, Red Bread is Russian-born journalist Maurice Hindus’s account of his return to his native village in 1929-30 to see for himself how Stalin's collectivization campaign was transforming the lives of the peasants among whom he had grown up in prerevolutionary times. This warm and human narrative conveys in personal and immediate terms his peasant neighbors' responses to being forced out of a centuries-old way of life and into the unfamiliar social setting and industrialized large-scale agriculture of the kolkhoz. Convinced that collectivized farming would bring Russian agriculture and the Russian peasant into the modern age, Hindus was nonetheless deeply troubled by the huge social cost and personal suffering inflicted by Stalin’s ruthless campaign. Red Bread contributes an invaluable grassroots perspective on the era's dynamism and despair to the current discussion of the Soviet historical experience in the Soviet Union and the West.

Author Bio

Maurice Hindus (1891-1969) emigrated to America in 1905. As a writer, lecturer, and war correspondent, he made many trips to Russia during the 1920’s, thirties, and forties. Among his best-known books about Russia are Broken Earth and Humanity Uprooted.


“Here we have the mud and the rank smell of mahorka; sour cream, flies, and greasy sheep-skin coats; the perfume of waving rye and buckwheat; the reek of unventilated muzhik huts and peasant whining and clamor—in short, the real rural Russia.1931”
 — The Saturday Review of Literature

“Hindus takes the reader into the turmoil of the 1930s . . . during collectivization. In this honest, passionate account one feels the texture of Soviet life, the actual process of social upheaval of that time.”
 — Ronald Grigor Suny

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Nadya's letter
Chapter 2. Gathering of the storm
Chapter 3. Spirit of Sunday
Chapter 4. Coming of the storm
Chapter 5. Moscow marches on
Chapter 6. Beyond the pale
Chapter 7. Daily ordeal
Chapter 8. "The return of the native"
Chapter 9. Voice of the mass
Chapter 10. White wedding
Chapter 11. Kolhoz
Chapter 12. New and the old
Chapter 13. Koolack
Chapter 14. Puzzled little father
Chapter 15. Landlord herdsman
Chapter 16. New girl
Chapter 17. Gipsy Rosa
Chapter 18. Farewell visit
Chapter 19. Red bread