Stephen Wheatcroft on James W. Heinzen - "Inventing a Soviet Countryside: State Power and the Transformation of Rural Russia, 1917-1929"
...James W. Heinzen
, Inventing a Soviet Countryside: State Power and the Transformation of Rural Russia, 1917-1929.Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press
, 2004. x + 297 pp. $44.95 (cloth), ISBN: 0-8229-4215-1.
...James W. Heinzen of Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey has written a very interesting book on several aspects of the history of the People's Commissariat of Agriculture of the RSFSR (NKZem-RSFSR) from 1917 to 1929.
The distinction that Heinzen
has introduced here at the birth of NKZem only became apparent after the formation of the USSR in 1922, when the decision was made not to create a People's Commissariat at this time at the Union level.
Finally, on what may appear to be a fairly minor detail, Heinzen
presents a confusing picture of the level of agricultural production in these years.He
is generally correct in his
text in describing the failure of grain production in the late 1920s to reach the pre-war level, but he
does include a very misleading table which provides a totally different indication of the situation. Although this may appear to be a minor matter I would argue that it is extremely important.
The main point about the Soviet countryside that was invented by Soviet State power in the late 1920s lies precisely in this confusion.
, should have known better, and in fact does know better.