Kedrov N.G. Viktor Danilov’s four conceptions of collectivization // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №3. P. 6-42.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2019-4-3-6-42


The article considers the views of the famous Russian agrarian historian V.P. Danilov on collectivization. The author identifies four stages in his studies. First, Danilov’s becoming a historian of the Soviet village under the Khrushev’s “thaw”, when he joined the reconsideration of the Soviet history and took an active part in the critical analysis of Stalin’s historiography. Danilov focused on the search of macro-structures in the genesis of socialist relations in the Soviet agriculture. However, his attempts to develop a new conception of collectivization were not successful due to the political changes in the country in the mid-1960s. In the second half of the 1960s—1980s, the new official conception of collectivization introduced by S.P. Trapeznikov became the main subject of criticism from Danilov: he emphasized the prevalence of patriarchal relations in the Soviet village before collectivization. “Perestroika” gave new hopes to the historians of the Danilov’s generation. However, he did not share the views of radical critics of the collective-farm system and developed a conception of the alternatives to the Stalin’s “revolutions from above” as the lost opportunities to create a true socialism. The final stage in Danilov’s scientific work consisted of preparing fundamental documentary series on history of the Soviet village, and of thinking on the ideas of totalitarian historiography. The author stresses Danilov’s outstanding role in developing two of three research programs for the study of the agrarian history of the Soviet period.


agrarian history, historical science, Soviet village, collectivization, V.P. Danilov

About the author

Kedrov Nikolay G., PhD (History), Independent Researcher
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Russian Peasant Studies. Scientific journal

Center for Agrarian studies of the Russian Presidental Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)

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