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Peasants under SiegeThe Collectivization of Romanian Agriculture, 1949-1962$
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Gail Kligman and Katherine Verdery

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149721

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149721.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Peasants under Siege

Gail Kligman

Katherine Verdery

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter provides a background of the collectivization of agriculture in Romania. The collectivization of agriculture was the first mass action, in largely agrarian countries like the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, and Romania, through which the new communist regime initiated its radical program of social, political, cultural, and economic transformation. Collectivizing agriculture was not merely an aspect of the larger policy of industrial development but an attack on the very foundations of rural life. By leaving rural inhabitants without their own means of livelihood, it radically increased their dependence on the Party-state. It both prepared and compelled them to be the proletarians of new industrial facilities. Moreover, it destroyed or at least frayed both the vertical and the horizontal social relations in which villagers were embedded and through which they defined themselves and pursued their existence.

Keywords:   agricultural collectivization, Romania, communist regime, industrial development, rural life, Party-state, industrial facilities, social relations

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