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Course Move-In and Orientation

Welcome to the third season of Soviet History for the networked age at Virginia Tech. This week we will get acquainted with the course and with each other, and get all moved-in and ready to roll with our blogs and class sessions. Please look around the website — it will look a lot different once…

“… Train my hands for war, and my fingers for battle…”

Steel and machinery are two crowning results of industrial power and ingenuity. With Stalin’s first Five Year Plan complete, the USSR had reached a level of industrialization achieved by few other nations.Pictured above is a parade of Soviet T-34 battle tanks. This beast of steel was the Soviet’s primary battle tank from 1934 through World War Two. The … Continue reading “… Train my hands for war, and my fingers for battle…”

“The Old has Passed Away; Behold, the New has Come.”

The 1930s saw a great shift in Soviet Culture. The nation was moving from a time of internal conflict and struggle that surrounded the Revolutions and Civil War of the 20s, to an era where Soviet Culture began to sculpt a more optimistic identity for the nation. The decade saw the concept of the “ideal” … Continue reading “The Old has Passed Away; Behold, the New has Come.”

“…A tower that reaches to the Heavens…”

Red brick dotted the horizon puncturing deep into the black clouds of industry. Horizons that had once been speckled with gold coated Christian Crucifixes, were now framed in brick and coal. The Party had found its titan, the factory. The mass industrialization of the Soviet Union and its cultural effects came about due to Stalin’s ambitious Five Year Plan. … Continue reading “…A tower that reaches to the Heavens…”

Red and Black!

The dawning of the year 1917 saw Imperial Russia in an unstable position. The people were furious with Czar Nicholas II and his continuous dissolving of the Duma, or the Parliament that was meant to speak for the people. They were enraged at their nation’s continued involvement in the Great War. An involvement that had cost … Continue reading Red and Black!