The Transformation of Civil Society: An Oral History of Ukrainian Peasant Culture, 1920s to 1930s (Hardcover)

The Transformation of Civil Society: An Oral History of Ukrainian Peasant Culture, 1920s to 1930s By William Noll, Natalia Khanenko-Friesen (Foreword by) Cover Image


The catastrophic terror Soviet power unleashed on the Ukrainian countryside in the early 1930s altered every aspect of village life. Based on extensive interviews with villagers throughout Ukraine, The Transformation of Civil Society provides an oral history of the material and cultural destruction sustained in rural Ukraine throughout the Stalinist era. Beginning with wholesale deportations and evictions, followed by the process of collectivization in Ukraine, the Soviet state’s impact on peasant life extended deep into the fabric of society. Targeting the cultural life of these Ukrainians, the 1930s began with the physical repression of religious institutions and personnel, the repression of church ritual, and later, the repression of entertainment and expressive culture such as music making. By bringing to light the experiences of more than four hundred Ukrainians who witnessed the terror of the Stalinist era, William Noll privileges villagers' points of view on the near total destruction of their world and preserves the memory of their civil society. Almost twenty-five years after its Ukrainian publication, The Transformation of Civil Society makes this classic available in English for the first time.

About the Author

William Noll is an ethnomusicologist who lives in Belton, Missouri.

Praise For…

“This extraordinary oral history project captures an entire lost civilization: the world of the Ukrainian countryside before collectivization and famine. Using interviews carried out immediately after Ukrainian independence, William Noll describes elements of village life – including courting, wedding, and funeral rituals, Christmas and Easter celebrations, music, and art – that have now nearly disappeared. Published in Ukrainian in 1999, this English translation now makes this unique material accessible to a much wider audience.” Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag: A History

Product Details
ISBN: 9780228016915
ISBN-10: 0228016916
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Publication Date: May 15th, 2023
Pages: 960
Language: English