Against the Grain

Industrialized Agriculture in the Soviet Union

Agriculture in the Soviet Union had some colossal disasters — not the least of which was the near-destruction of the Aral Sea — and some significant successes as well. But most of the analysis of that experience has been through a Cold War lens. Historian Jenny Leigh Smith has taken a second look at Soviet agriculture. She argues that it compares decently to other mid-century industrialized agricultural systems, including that of the United States — which may not be saying much.

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