Great Famine: American Experience

Season 23, Episode 1 of 1

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 11 million Soviet citizens a day in 19,000 kitchens. "The Great Famine" tells this 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 U.S.-Soviet rivalry that would dominate the second half of the 20th century.

Previously Aired

Day
Time
Channel
4/11/2011
9 p.m.
4/12/2011
2 a.m.
9/27/2011
9 p.m.
9/28/2011
2 a.m.
10/2/2011
3 p.m.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona