The author reconstructs the history of the Plotnikovo village in the Novosibirsk district of the Novosibirsk Region in the late 1920s – 1930s. The research was conducted in the microhistoric format, which allows to consider the agrarian history of Russia in the everyday perspective of its direct actors – peasants united in their primary communities. The article aims at presenting the course of collectivization and its price for a certain rural settlement. In the Plotnikovo village, collectivization began at the end of 1929 with the creation of a giant commune which collapsed after the publication of Stalin’s article “Dizzy with Success”. The small collective farm “Zavety Ilyicha” was established on the basis of this commune. Collectivization resumed in 1931 and ended in the late 1930s. The author also considers anti-peasant repressions, de-kulakization, local famine in 1934-1935, state regulations of the size of the collective farmers’ smallholdings, behavioral strategies of peasants and rural officials. The author concludes that in the early 1940s the Plotnikovo village was at the same or even lower level of development than in the early 1920s. Thus, in general collectivization had a negative impact on the development of agricultural productive forces in the village under study, and the difficulties the villagers survived in the 1930s cannot be counted – only named by V.P. Danilov’s term ‘tragedy of the Soviet village’.
Peasantry, village, agrarian policy of the Soviet state, collectivization, collective farms, smallholdings, microhistory, Siberia, Т. Shanin, V.P. Danilov.
Il’inykh Vladimir A., DSc (History), Head of the Agrarian and Demographic History Sector, Institute of History, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 630090, Novosibirsk, Ac. Nikolaev St., 8.
In this interview, Boris Doktorov, a Russian sociologist living in America, a researcher of intellectual biographies and methods of social sciences in the 20th–21st centuries, together with the Editor-in-Chief of the Russian Peasant Studies and Head of the Chayanov Research Center of the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, Alexander Nikulin, talks about the outstanding British sociologist Teodor Shanin, whose scientific legacy is closely related to the development of an interdisciplinary social science—peasant studies, and who conducted a number of fundamental historical-sociological and economic-sociological studies of rural Russia. The interview considers the basic concepts and milestones in the development of peasant studies as a branch of the historical-sociological knowledge in Russia, analyzes Shanin’s estimates of various aspects of the Russian social-humanitarian thought as related to the study of the peasantry and to the recommendations on alternatives for the development and transformation of peasant worlds, which were suggested by agrarian populists and Marxists, G.V. Plekhanov and V.I. Lenin, A.V. Chayanov and I.V. Stalin. The interview considers the impact of literature and art on descriptions and explanations of the role of the peasantry through the intellectual interests of Teodor Shanin; focuses on his joint activities with his closest colleagues in the study of rural Russia—the outstanding agrarian scientists V.P. Danilov and T.I. Zaslavskaya. Throughout the interview, Shanin’s worldview and moral-ethical principles in the search for humanistic alternatives for the Russian and global rural development are discussed.
peasantry, peasant studies, agrarian policy, Teodor Shanin, V.P. Danilov, T.I. Zaslavskaya, village writers, rural Russia
Doktorov Boris Z., DSc (Philosophy), Professor, Independet Analyst. 100 Village Lane, Foster City, CA 94404, USA.
Nikulin Alexander M., PhD (Economics), Head of the Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Head of the Chayanov Research Center, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp, 82.
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
Kedrov Nikolay G., PhD (History), Independent Researcher