Collective Farming in Russia: A Political Study of the Soviet Kolkhozy

Collective Farming in Russia: A Political Study of the Soviet Kolkhozy

Collective Farming in Russia: A Political Study of the Soviet Kolkhozy

Collective Farming in Russia: A Political Study of the Soviet Kolkhozy

Excerpt

One of the leading students of the Soviet system has observed that agriculture "is one of the neglected areas" of Soviet studies. The present study is offered as an attempt at partial restitution for this neglect.

Since the inception of the collectivized system, the history of Soviet agriculture can be divided into two distinct periods. Prior to 1950, agricultural policy, like all other areas of Soviet life, was dominated by Joseph Stalin. Nineteen fifty however, saw the inauguration of the amalgamations which were first suggested by the present Premier, N. S. Khrushchev. Certainly by the time of Stalin's death in 1953, Mr. Khrushchev was the undisputed leader of agricultural policy. Since that time agriculture has been the most active area of policy change in the Soviet system.

Largely focused upon examining the post-1950 changes in the Soviet agricultural system, the present work may serve to enhance the understanding of the Soviet polity during this immediate phase of the post-Stalin era.

Among those who must be credited with having contributed greatly to whatever is of value in this study must be included Professor William B. Ballis of the University of Michigan, who supervised the work in its original form as a doctoral thesis at the University of Washington. Miss Ruth Sturtevant, University of Kansas, must be credited for her considerable assistance in the revision of the original manuscript. I wish to thank also Mr. Alec Nove, University of London, a highly respected friend and colleague, who not only supplied me with materials for the work but also provided an invaluable critical reading of an early draft of the project. Indeed, I am indebted to many others for their assistance and I wish to extend my thanks to them as well. However, if this work were to be dedicated, two people would bear the inscription: my father, the late Dr. Claude Ross Laird, who from the very start was an inspiration and teacher of values; and my wife Betty Olson Laird for her tireless effort in seeing me through and for her challenging presence.

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