Category: Students’ Choice

Everybody’s a critic: Khrushchev’s thoughts on art

In 1956 Khrushchev brought the “thaw” to the Soviet Union. The thaw was a policy of de-Stalinization which relaxed censorship and released millions of prisoners from the Gulag labor camps. In the following year Khrushchev asserted the importance of art remaining in line with the Soviet realist style in his article, “For a Close Tie between …

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A Dog Called Laika

With the successful launch of the Sputnik satellite, the Soviets gained a foothold in their ongoing Space Race with the United States. As they did not have the capability to create a single rocket to launch the satellite into space, the Soviet scientist in charge of the project designed a cluster of rockets which, when …

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The Girl with the Tokarev SVT-40 semi-automatic rifle.

From a western perspective, female roles during wartime are kept nearly exclusively to the home front. Women are placed in temporary industry jobs in order to advance the war effort, which is where iconic personas such as Rosie the Riveter emerge. However, this concept of females roles vary on the eastern front. During World War … Continue reading The Girl with the Tokarev SVT-40 semi-automatic rifle.

The Magnitogorsk Experiment

Speaking to prominent Soviet economists during the 1920’s Stalin lamented the shame that Russia had suffered at the hands of other countries. Shame brought on by “Japanese barons”, “Mongol khans” and British and French capitalists.[1]  All of whom had bested Russia due to industrial, military and economic superiority. Resolving to never suffer such ignominy again,…

Whatta man, whatta man, whatta mighty masculine man!

After the revolution, there were different party organizations for distinct groups. There was the Zhenotdel, concentrated on the Women’s department, and the Komsomol, the Young Communist League (Freeze, 330). The Komsomol was open to both sexes but males outnumbered women 8 to 1. They represented atheism, hooliganism, and sexual depravity, and men did not want their daughters…

Episode 2: Attack of the Bolsheviks

Unrest in the Provisional Government! Several political parties had declared their intentions of mistrust and disapproval towards the newly formed government. After the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, the Provisional Government attempted to contain order and bring about change to the economically suffering Russia. However, workers, peasants, and soldiers alike felt change was moving too […]

Christianity and the Church Before the Revolution

This photograph, taken from the Prokudin-Gorskii collection at the Library of Congress shows the Cathedral of St. Nicholas towering over residential structures in the outskirts of Mozhaisk, an ancient town 68 miles west of Moscow. I chose the photograph because of the striking contrast between the imposing, brightly-colored cathedral and the quaint scene of a … Continue reading Christianity and the Church Before the Revolution