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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.
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Introduction: The Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature and the East European Experience
Chapter 1. Kafkaesque Paradigms: The Stalinist Plan for the Transformation of Nature in Czechoslovakia
Doubravka Olšáková and Arnošt Štanzel
Chapter 2. Untamed Seedlings: Hungary and Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature
Zsuzsanna Borvendég and Mária Palasik
Chapter 3. The Conspiracy of Silence: Stalinist Plan for the Transformation of Nature in Poland
Conclusion: Environmental History, East-European Societies and Totalitarian Regimes
Doubravka Olšáková is a senior researcher at the Institute for Contemporary History at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, where she leads a working group on environmental history. Her publications include the book Science Goes to the People! (2014), which examines mass indoctrination and the dissemination of science in communist Czechoslovakia.