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Readings In Global History: Volume 2

The world's first socialist society emerged out of the chaos of war and revolution and continued to astound the world until and after its collapse in 1991. This course is constructed to encourage students to understand the legacy of 75 years of socialist experimentation, what happened in Russia and why, and to evaluate the impact of the USSR on the lives of its citizens and the world. The course examines the experience of building socialism and living through its demise by focusing on the key moments of Soviet history: the revolutionary process of 1917 and civil war; the role of political parties and social groups; the attempt to create a new socialist culture, society, and state; Stalin's revolution from above based on industrialization, collectivization, repression, and Russian nationalism; relations with the outside world, including the Great Fatherland War and the Cold War; efforts to reform socialism after Stalin's death; the rise of the USSR as a world power; the hidden contradictions of nationality; the implosion of all these contradictions during the turbulent regime of Gorbachev; the legacy of the Soviet Union in today's Russian Federation. Readings include personal narratives, selected documents, and a textbook. Requirements include 2 short papers on the readings, a take-home midterm essay, and an extended essay comparing a personal narrative with works of current historical scholarship.

Readings in Global History: Volume 2


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