In the Name of the Great Work: Stalin's Plan for the Transformation of Nature and its Impact in Eastern Europe

Olšáková, Doubravka, ed. | from Multimedia Library Collection:
Books & Profiles

In the Name of the Great Work. Cover.

Olšáková, Doubravka, ed. In the Name of the Great Work: Stalin’s Plan for the Transformation of Nature and its Impact in Eastern Europe. New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2016.

Beginning in 1948, the Soviet Union launched a series of wildly ambitious projects to implement Joseph Stalin’s vision of a total “transformation of nature.” Intended to increase agricultural yields dramatically, this utopian impulse quickly spread to the newly communist states of Eastern Europe, captivating political elites and war-fatigued publics alike. By the time of Stalin’s death, however, these attempts at “transformation”—which relied upon ideologically corrupted and pseudoscientific theories—had proven a spectacular failure. This richly detailed volume follows the history of such projects in three communist states—Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia—and explores their varied, but largely disastrous, consequences. (Text from Berghahn Books)

The Rachel Carson Center, the ESEH, and Berghahn Books (New York and Oxford) partner on the publication of the peer-reviewed book series The Environment in History: International Perspectives. The series strives to bridge both national and disciplinary divides, with a particular emphasis on European, transnational, and comparative research.

Further readings: 
  • Auer, Matthew R., ed. Restoring Cursed Earth: Appraising Environmental Policy Reforms in Eastern Europe and Russia. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004.
  • Gestwa, Klaus. Die Stalinschen Großbauten des Kommunismus: Sowjetische Technik- und Umweltgeschichte, 1948–1967. München: Oldenbourg, 2010.
  • Weiner, Douglas R. A Little Corner of Freedom: Russian Nature Protection from Stalin to Gorbachëv. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.