Bread + Medicine: American Famine Relief in Soviet Russia, 1921-1923

Bread + Medicine: American Famine Relief in Soviet Russia, 1921-1923

Bread + Medicine: American Famine Relief in Soviet Russia, 1921-1923

Bread + Medicine: American Famine Relief in Soviet Russia, 1921-1923


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A century ago, the Soviet Union faced a catastrophic famine, brought on by the disruptions of the First World War and the Russian Revolution, draconian Soviet economic policies, and a severe drought. As millions of people faced starvation and hunger-related disease, the Russian writer Maxim Gorky issued an appeal for help, asking "all honest European and American people for prompt aid to the Russian people. Give bread and medicine." One person was uniquely situated to answer the call: Herbert Hoover, chair of the American Relief Administration (ARA), who had achieved worldwide fame as the organizer and administrator of large-scale humanitarian relief operations during and following World War I.

American relief helped millions survive the famine of 1921–23. While the role of food aid has been well documented, Bread + Medicine focuses on the lesser-known story of America's medical intervention, including a large-scale vaccination drive, and treatment of famine-related diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and typhus and hunger-related deficiency diseases, especially among children. The ARA's medical relief program proved essential to the overall success of its mission. Bread + Medicine, richly illustrated with photographs, posters, and documents from the Hoover Archives, tells that story in vivid detail.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780817925758
Publisher: Hoover Institution Press
Publication date: 06/01/2023
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 9.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Bertrand M. Patenaude is the author of The Big Show in Bololand: The American Relief Expedition to Soviet Russia in the Famine of 1921 (Stanford University Press, 2002).

Joan Nabseth Stevenson received her PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Stanford University. She is the author of Deliverance from the Little Big Horn: Doctor Henry Porter and Custer's Seventh Cavalry.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Michele Barry Director’s Foreword by Eric Wakin Acknowledgments. Note to the Reader 1. “Give Bread and Medicine” 2. Medical Famine 3. The Terror of Typhus 4. The Ghost of Cholera 5. The Plight of Physicians 6. Maladies and Remedies 7. More Precious Than Bread Timeline of US Famine Relief to Soviet Russia, 1921– 1923 Selected Bibliography About the Authors Index
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