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  • The Great Famine: American Experience

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE | The Great Famine | PBS

Duration: 00:31
Program: The Great Famine: American Experience #2308

When a devastating famine descended on Soviet Russia in 1921, it was the worst natural disaster in Europe since the Black Plague in the Middle Ages. Half a world away, Americans responded with a massive two-year relief campaign, championed by a new Secretary of Commerce, "the Great Humanitarian" Herbert Hoover. The nearly 300 American relief workers, "Hoover's boys," would be tested by a railroad system in disarray, a forbidding climate, and—being among the first group of outsiders to break through Russia's isolation following the Bolshevik Revolution—a ruthless government suspicious of their motives. By the summer of 1922, Americans were feeding nearly eleven million Soviet citizens a day in 19000 kitchens. The Great Famine from producer Austin Hoyt (George HW Bush) tells this riveting story of America's engagement with a distant and desperate people—an operation hailed for its efficiency, grit and generosity—within the larger story of the Russian Revolution and the roots of the US-Soviet rivalry that would dominate the second half of the twentieth century.

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Post Date: March 5, 2011