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Red BritainThe Russian Revolution in Mid-Century Culture$
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Matthew Taunton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198817710

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198817710.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 September 2021

Homestead Versus Kolschoz

Homestead Versus Kolschoz

(p.162) 4 Homestead Versus Kolschoz
Red Britain

Matthew Taunton

Oxford University Press

‘Homestead versus Kolchos’ was a question that obsessed Ezra Pound, an opposition between independent freeholders farming small plots (associated by Pound with the early history of the United States), and the mechanized factory farming of the Soviet collective farm or kolkhoz (which he transliterates as Kolchos). This chapter explores the ways in which British writers and intellectuals, including G. K. Chesterton, George Orwell, John Rodker, Joan Beauchamp, and J. B. Priestley, thought and wrote about Soviet agriculture. The tension between the cottage economy and the collective farm, as opposing models of socialist agriculture, created a wide-ranging debate about food, about the independent peasant proprietor, and about the possibilities of collective ownership. It shows how the ‘cottage economy’, celebrated by William Cobbett, became a key theme for anti-Communist critiques of collectivized agriculture.

Keywords:   socialist agriculture, farming in literature, collectivization, J. B. Priestley, George Orwell, Soviet famine, rural literature, Romantic socialism

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