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American Experience; Great Famine, The


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American Experience
Great Famine, The
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Series Description

Premiered October 1988 As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. Series release date: 10/1988

Program Description

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: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE from producer Austin Hoyt (GEORGE H.W. BUSH: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE) 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 U.S.-Soviet rivalry that would dominate the second half of the 20th century.

An Austin Hoyt Productions film for American Experience (c) 2011



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Broadcast program

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Chicago: “American Experience; Great Famine, The,” 02/11/2011, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed April 25, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_4C7F38B99191461180F1F0CB53848D6E.
MLA: “American Experience; Great Famine, The.” 02/11/2011. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. April 25, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_4C7F38B99191461180F1F0CB53848D6E>.
APA: American Experience; Great Famine, The. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_4C7F38B99191461180F1F0CB53848D6E
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