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Series
Volume 10

Environment in History: International Perspectives



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In the Name of the Great Work

Stalin's Plan for the Transformation of Nature and its Impact in Eastern Europe

Edited by Doubravka Olšáková

322 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-252-4 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (September 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-253-1 eBook


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Reviews

“By focusing on the Eastern European experience, this book offers an original angle on the ‘Stalin Plan.’ Its case studies are substantial, covering a considerable amount of ground and presenting new empirical findings.” · Jonathan Oldfield, University of Birmingham

Description

Beginning in 1948, the Soviet Union launched a series of wildly ambitious projects to implement Joseph Stalin’s vision of a total “transformation of nature.” Intended to increase agricultural yields dramatically, this utopian impulse quickly spread to the newly communist states of Eastern Europe, captivating political elites and war-fatigued publics alike. By the time of Stalin’s death, however, these attempts at “transformation”—which relied upon ideologically corrupted and pseudoscientific theories—had proven a spectacular failure. This richly detailed volume follows the history of such projects in three communist states—Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia—and explores their varied, but largely disastrous, consequences.

Doubravka Olšáková is a senior researcher at the Institute for Contemporary History at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, where she leads a working group on environmental history. Her publications include the book Science Goes to the People! (2014), which examines mass indoctrination and the dissemination of science in communist Czechoslovakia.

Subject: Postwar History Environmental Studies
Area: Central/Eastern Europe



Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Tables
Abbreviations

Introduction: The Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature and the East European Experience
Paul Josephson

Chapter 1. Kafkaesque Paradigms: The Stalinist Plan for the Transformation of Nature in Czechoslovakia
Doubravka Olšáková and Arnošt Štanzel

Chapter 2. Untamed Seedlings: Hungary and Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature
Zsuzsanna Borvendég and Mária Palasik

Chapter 3. The Conspiracy of Silence: Stalinist Plan for the Transformation of Nature in Poland
Beata Wysokińska

Conclusion: Environmental History, East-European Societies and Totalitarian Regimes
Doubravka Olšáková

Name Index
Local Index
Subject Index

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