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The Red Broom

by Andrew Stuttaford

Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, by Anne Applebaum (Doubleday, 496 pp., $35)

Nearly 40 years ago, I met the parents of a graduate-school friend. They were exiles, Ukrainians, a people said not to exist, not really. Their son had told them that I took an unfriendly interest in Soviet history, and that I knew a little about their lost homeland.

The father asked if I’d heard about a famine there in the early 1930s. I had: something to do with collectivization.

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