Mikhail Gorbachev’s leadership ushered in an era of increased freedom, opportunity, and hope for Soviet citizens, even as it fostered economic uncertainty, political instability, and the threat of chaos. For your final blog post, please choose a topic that gives you some insight on the collapse of Soviet communism and the social transformation that accompanied it.
Despite it’s reputation for “stagnation,” the Soviet seventies were anything but boring! Science fiction, new modes of consumerism and expanding television and film offerings shaped the decade, as did the dissident movement, the campaign to clean-up the Aral Sea, and the invasion of Afghanistan.
Change was in the air as the sixties unfolded. Challenges in the sphere of foreign policy and changes in leadership marked the political sphere just as new forms of cultural expression and shifting social norms shaped Soviet society.
This week we turn our attention to The Great Patriotic War (aka World War II) and the immediate post-war period. Please use one of the modules from 1943 or 1947 in Seventeen Moments in Soviet History on-line archive. You may also use the module on Soviet Territorial Annexations from 1939. You should consult Ch. 12 in the Freeze text. If you are writing about something specific to the war, it would be worth considering William C. Fuller’s discussion on pp. 383-392 of Freeze about the reasons for Soviet victory.
The end of the twenties marked a dramatic shift in the tenor and substance of political, social and economic life in the Soviet Union. Indeed the “Great Turn” brought changes so profound and wide-reaching that this period is often seen as a “second” revolution. For this week’s post, please choose a topic in the “1929”…
For your fourth blog post, use the resources in Seventeen Moments of Soviet History (1921 and 1924) to examine a significant aspect of the Russian Revolution. Make sure to check out and use the primary materials. You should also consult the Freeze text (the rest of Chapter 9 and Chapter 10).
It’s time for more war and revolution! This week we move into range of a fabulous digital archive that will inspire us for the rest of the term. The topic of your post this week is the end of the autocracy and the two revolutions of 1917.
Our second set of posts will focus on the development of a revolutionary movement in Russia and the revolution of 1905. You should start by reading Freeze (Chapter 8) and then develop one of the following topics:
1) Marxism / Leninism. Use the resources in the Marxist Internet Archive to examine the development of Marxism in Russia before the revolution of 1905.