famine

Vasily Grossman: eye-witness to the 20th century’s worst atrocities

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Vasily Grossman’s novel Life and Fate (completed in 1960) has been hailed as a 20th-century War and Peace. It has…

Mykola Bokan’s photograph of his family, including a memorial to ‘Kostya, who died of hunger’, July 1933. Bokan and his son were arrested for documenting the famine — both died in the gulag

The hunger

23 September 2017 9:00 am

In 1933 my aunt Lenina Bibikova was eight years old. She lived in Kharkov, Ukraine. Every morning a polished black…

Chairman Mao devours his foes

30 April 2016 9:00 am

Frank Dikötter, professor of humanities at the University of Hong Kong and winner of the Samuel Johnson prize in 2011,…

Preparing for modern warfare: Indian infantrymen c. 1940

The making of modern India

26 March 2016 9:00 am

The other day, some anti-imperialist students were questioning the presence in their institutions of statues of Cecil Rhodes, a West…

A 19th-century view of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra (Kiev’s Monastery of the Caves) Russian School

The history of Ukraine — from Herodotus to Hitler

9 January 2016 9:00 am

At the beginning of the historical record, the lands that we now call Ukraine were a reservoir of fantasy. Achilles…

Two small children dying together in the gutter in the Chinese famine of 1946

How Hitler's dreams came true in 1946

11 October 2014 9:00 am

I should begin this review, in the spirit of full disclosure, by admitting that I know the author very slightly.…

Joy to the world

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Pessimism sells. It shifts books and newspapers, sends ratings soaring. It fills lecture halls, wins research grants, makes political careers.…

The Tragedy of Liberation, by Frank Dikötter - review

14 September 2013 9:00 am

The historian of China Frank Dikötter has taken a sledgehammer to demolish perhaps the last remaining shibboleth of modern Chinese…