The gripping human story of how American volunteers fought famine in Bolshevik Russia, saving Lenin's revolutionary government from chaos and millions of people from starvation In 1921, after six years of unrelenting war and revolution, Russia was in ruins. The economy had collapsed, the country was ravaged by disease and starvation claimed the lives of millions. People were so desperate for food that there were reports of cannibalism, reports that were revealed to be horribly accurate.
Remarkably, it was a young American aid worker who uncovered the truth and, even more remarkably, it was the US-backed charity that had sent him to Russia that would save Lenin's fledgling government by feeding his people.
In The Russian Job, acclaimed historian Douglas Smith tells the gripping story of how an American charity fought the Russian famine. Backed by $20 million from the US government, and founded by Herbert Hoover, US Secretary of Commerce, the American Relief Administration recruited more than three hundred young Americans, many of them war veterans. They would oversee the distribution of food, clothing and medical supplies to people throughout Russia's vast landmass, saving millions of lives.
Vividly written, with a rich cast of characters and a deep understanding of the period, The Russian Job shines a bright light on this strange and shadowy moment in history.
Country of Publication:
12 November 2019
From 18 years
Section - i: Prologue: Mr. Wolfe's Horrifying Discovery Unit - 1: 1921 Unit - 2: 1922 Unit - 3: 1923 Section - ii: A Note on Sources Section - iii: Select Biography Acknowledgements - iv: Acknowledgements Index - v: Index
Douglas Smith is an award-winning historian and translator and the author of Rasputin and Former People, which was a bestseller in the U.K. His books have been translated into a dozen languages. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, he has written for The New York Times and Wall Street Journal and has appeared in documentaries with the BBC, National Geographic, and Netflix. Before becoming a historian, he worked for the U.S. State Department in the Soviet Union and as a Russian affairs analyst for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He lives with his family in Seattle.
Reviews for The Russian Job: The Forgotten Story of How America Saved the Soviet Union from Famine
Brilliant, disturbing and at times horrifically graphic . . . an important story that needed to be told and Doug Smith has produced a fast moving and most compelling read. -- Helen Rappaport, author of <i>Four Sisters</i> <i> </i> An often agonizing but necessary book . . . deserves a large readership. * Kirkus Reviews *