HARVEST ON THE DON by Mikha Sholokhov


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Against the Don steppes with their constantly changing beauty -- and against tensions of human conflicts as the Don Cossacks inwardly resist collectivization to the end, the story continues to unfold. Back in 1934 when we reviewed And Quiet Flows the Don we expressed the convition that Sholokhov, while wearing the mantle of the great Russian classic writers, was dern, original and universal. Subsequent volumes in this tetralogy pursued the theme of the ups and downs of collectivization, and came to grips with the Cossacks in peace and war, revolution and civil strife, resistance to the uprooting of tradition. Now in this sequel to Seeds of Tomorrow, there is still that universality in the closeup portrait of a people and a village. The story revolves around Davidov, a Leningrad tal worker appointed as Soviet Farm Chairman to complete the organization of Gremyachy Leg. There is outward acceptance; the signing up of a few recalcitrants is joyously celebrated; but the work itself limps along, and there is endless diatribe against injustices, implications of social unrest, and evidence of the deep-rooted instincts of the peasant. A few characters reappear:- Shehukar, older but still a boaster, supplies comic relief; Lukeria continues to enchant the opposite sex and makes trouble for Davidov, and Yakov plays his part in spearheading the final flareup of counter-revolution in which Davidov and Makar pay with their lives. Sholokhov has once again sustained his reputation as an interpreter of the Soviet collectivization and the peasants of the Don. His followers will welcome this latest book.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1961
Publisher: Knopf