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Starving Ukraine - The Holodomor and Canada's Response

Starving Ukraine

The Holodomor and Canada's Response

Hardcover : 9780889775060, 400 pages, October 2017
Paperback : 9780889775602, 400 pages, September 2018


  • Winner, Canadian Association for Ukrainian Studies Book Prize 2020


From 1932 to 1933, a catastrophic famine, known as the Holodomor ("extermination by hunger"), raged through Ukraine, killing millions of people. Although the Soviet government denied it, news about the tragedy got out and Canadians came to learn about the famine from many, though often contradictory, sources. Through an extensive analysis of newspapers, political speeches, and organized protests, Serge Cipko examines both the reporting of the famine and the Canadian response to it, highlighting the vital importance of journalism and the power of public demonstrations in shaping government action.


"[A]n important contribution. " Thomas Prymak, author of Gathering a Heritage: Ukrainian, Slavonic, and Ethnic Canada and the USA

"A must-read for students of the Holodomor. " Myroslav Shkandrij, author of Ukrainian Nationalism and Russia and Ukraine

"A major contribution. " Roman Serbyn, editor of Famine in Ukraine, 1932-1933

"[A]n important work [that] speaks to our current dangerous climate of fake news, attacks on journalists, and the loss of independent news sources, while demonstrating the vital importance of a robust press, an informed citizenry, and local activism. "—James Daschuk, author of Clearing the Plains

"The book is well organized, written in a lively, engaging style that will appeal to both an academic and a popular audience. " —Canadian Ethnic Studies

"After reading Starving Ukraine, no one can say they 'didn't know. ' Indeed, this compelling, pitiless, but always readable account of the revelation of the Great Famine, engineered by the Stalinist state, reveals the breadth and depth of public discussion across Canada about what was happening in Soviet Ukraine. Our newspapers and magazines, left and right, town halls and Legion halls, legislatures and even the Alberta Wheat Pool all weighed in, in an often heart-breaking, often nerve-wracking, and always dramatic discourse about the ransom paid in human suffering to raisons d'etat cruelly masquerading as Revolution. " Myrna Kostash, author of Bloodlines and All of Baba's Children