Welshman Gareth Jones got off a train in the hinterland and saw first-hand the starvation of 1932-33 in Ukraine. Stalin intentionally starved the peasants of Ukraine because they raised their own food and expected some independence. He couldn’t allow anyone to be not under his thumb, so he killed them. Farmers had to hand over their production to the point they starved.
Sadly, Jones was killed in Manchuria two years later at age 30 before he wrote more than a few news articles. Most of what he found lay in the archive of his notes until a few years ago. See GarethJones.org
There is a recent book on Jones and his work: Gareth Jones: Eyewitness to the Holodomor, by Ray Gamache. Amazon (Holomodor is what the Ukrainians call it - “to kill by hunger.”)
Robert Conquest - The Harvest of Sorrows, 1986. He describes how Jones’s honest reporting was trashed not only by the Soviets, but also by Western journalists in Moscow.
Sally J Taylor - Stalin’s Apologist, 1990. This is a biography of Walter Duranty of the New York Times. Duranty shamelessly defended Stalin. And he also trashed Jones; that his claims of famine were exaggeration or worse. Whatever that is.
Shamefully Duranty received a Pulitzer Prize for his work for Stalin and, even after his work has been exposed as false and prostituting for mass killer Stalin, the NY Times has never renounced his work and the Pulitzer Prize has not been withdrawn.
Andrew Stuttaford at Weekly Standard.