Stalin's Legacy

The Soviet War on Nature

By Struan Stevenson

Format: Multiple Formats

In this book Struan Stevenson travels to the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgystan and Tajikistan. Investigating the effects of Stalins reign on the land and lives of the region.

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Birlinn Limited

Birlinn publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. Their imprints, Polygon Books, Arena Sport Books and John Donald Books, publish a wide variety of genres including culture, literary fiction, poetry and sports.

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As undisputed leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin was directly responsible for the deaths of up to 60 million of his fellow citizens, a truly horrific figure which confirms him as one of the most notorious mass murderers in history. But Stalin not only waged war against his own people he and his successors regarded nature as an enemy that could be overcome by the might of Soviet technology and the brute force of slave labour. The building of vast networks of canals and the diversion of major rivers has created untold environmental damage, whilst Soviet nuclear and biological weapons programmes contaminated vast areas and caused unimaginable agony for human and animal life. In this book Struan Stevenson travels to the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgystan and Tajikistan. From the Semipalatinsk region of east Kazakhstan, where over 600 nuclear tests were carried out between 1949 and 1990, to the Aral Sea, the desiccation of which has reduced what was the world's fourth largest inland body of water to half the size it was just 50 years ago, he presents a grim catalogue of environmental catastrophe.

As well as talking with those whose lives continue to be cruelly affected by this terrible legacy, he also meets those who are trying to deal with its wider consequences as it threatens to impact far beyond the steppes of Central Asia. Despite almost insurmountable challenges, however, there ultimately is a strong message of hope as both local and international organizations face up to the effects of disastrous and inhuman Soviet policies.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Multiple Formats
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 20 Aug 2012
SKU 9781780270906-grouped
Number of Pages 288

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Press Reviews

'Celebrating life in areas condemned by industrialism, this book is as much a conscientious call to arms as it is an act of love' - Publisher's Weekly (US)

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