To-day what remains of the old individual peasant farming is insignificant and the collective farm (Kolhoz) forms the backbone of Soviet agriculture and of the social structure of the countryside. The complete transformation of so vast a territory—one-sixth of the world’s land-surface—from medieval methods of cultivation and centuries-old peasant tradition to mechanised agriculture on a collective basis within the space of one decade is something quite unique in economic history. While the birth-pangs of this new social order were acute, they were not unduly prolonged; and, apparently, by the outbreak of war a quite remarkable degree of success as well as social stability in the Soviet countryside had been achieved.