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TTC – Rise and Fall of Soviet Communism (Audio)

50fb08d951b56MUrsaE TTC   Rise and Fall of Soviet Communism (Audio)

TTC – Rise and Fall of Soviet Communism (Audio)| Size : 325.06 MB

COURSE DESCRIPTION

From  the Oval Office to the streets of Moscow, world leaders and ordinary  citizens alike share concerns about Russia. Can democracy survive there?  What does the future hold for the once expansive, still powerful,  Russian nation? Is Soviet
Communism truly dead? Top diplomats struggle daily with questions like  these. With this course, you can begin investigating them for yourself.

Professor  Gary Hamburg of the University of Notre Dame leads you on a probing  historical journey that sheds light on the recent history and near  future of a key world power.

Gain New Insights, No Matter What Your Chief Interest May Be

Whether  your chief interest is Russian or world history, political theory, or  international relations, you take away a wealth of knowledge and insight  from these scholarly and comprehensive lectures as Professor Hamburg  examines:

  • The improbable origins of Communist rule in Russia
  • The ascent of the Red Star to its zenith
  • Its decline and apparent end in the wake of 1989′s epoch-making events.

Beginning  with the failures of the czarist regime and the horrors of the First  World War, then moving through the bloody era of Josef Stalin’s purges  and beyond to Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika, Professor Hamburg familiarizes you with the story of 20th-century Russia.

Peek into Newly Opened Archives

Using  new material from previously sealed Soviet archives and covering recent  controversial findings by both Russian and Western scholars, Professor  Hamburg offers you an analysis of the Soviet experiment.

His method is to draw a sharp focus on the major turning point of each of Soviet history’s three key periods:

The first period centers on the breakdown of the czarist regime, the events culminating  in the Menshevik and Bolshevik revolutions of 1917, the outbreak of  Russian civil war, the triumph of the Bolsheviks, and the birth of the  Communist party-state system.

Czarist Russia’s disastrous  involvement in World War I sets the stage for the fall of the czar and  the rise of Lenin, who masterminded the Bolshevik coup that has gone  down in history as the October Revolution.

Along with Lenin’s  role in the suppression of “bourgeois” democracy and the creation of the  Soviet state, Professor Hamburg explores his decisive theoretical  influence on the form that Marxism took in Russia.

You learn that Marx himself would not have thought Russiaa largely agrarian society at the time”ripe” for revolution.

The second period begins with Lenin’s announcement of the New Economic Policy and  continues with the debates, power struggles, and eventual consolidation  of his power in the late 1920s, the social terror of agricultural  collectivization and the political terror of the party purges in the  1930s, the bloody horrors of World War II and its aftermath, and the  death of Stalin in 1953.

In teaching this second period,  Professor Hamburg devotes extensive time to an explanation and analysis  of Stalinism. You examine the cruel dictatorship of Stalin, who used  forced starvation, murderous purges by secret police, and brutal labor  campsthe infamous “gulag archipelago”to consolidate his grip on power.

Next you examine the Nazi invasion and the “Great Patriotic War”  of 194145, which nearly toppled Stalin and killed millions of Soviet  soldiers and civilians.

If you’ve ever wondered about the  parallels between Stalin and Adolf Hitler, you will find much food for  thought in Professor Hamburg’s careful comparison of the two.

The third and most recent period begins with Khrushchev’s first efforts at de-Stalinization, continues  with the Brezhnev reaction, and reaches its climax with Gorbachev’s  startling initiatives of perestroika and glasnost in  the late 1980s. This leads to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the  ascendancy of Boris Yeltsin, and the current era of post-Soviet  disarray.

You learn how Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, and  Gorbachev all tried to curb the abuses of power and tendency toward the  “cult of personality” associated with Stalinism. Yet they tried to do so  while preserving the power structure Stalin had created, along with the  principles of Communism itself.

Professor Hamburg turns his lens on the policies of perestroika and glasnost to convey most fully the impact of these final years of the Soviet regime.

Two Major Schools of Thought

On the theoretical side, Professor Hamburg also considers the two ways to interpret 20th-century Russian history:

  • The  mainstream view, which generally holds that the only real  discontinuities in 20th-century Russian history are the Bolshevik  Revolution and the collapse of the USSR. In this view, the entire Soviet  period is essentially undifferentiated from Lenin to Stalin to  Gorbachev.
  • The  revisionist view, which sees major continuities in Russia’s history  prior to the Bolshevik Revolution and following Gorbachev, but major discontinuities within the Soviet period.

Although  his own views tend toward the mainstream, Professor Hamburg is careful  to give due account to the revisionists’ arguments.

“Neither  interpretation has gained full acceptance for the simple reason that we  are still too close in time to most of these events.

“Moreover,  we must all appreciate from the outset the duration, complexity, and  uniqueness of recorded Russian history, of which the 20th century is but  a very small part.”

Intrigue, Befuddlement, and Fright

“Russia,  in its vastness and diversity, has always intrigued, befuddled, and  frightened ‘the West.’ You shouldn’t be surprised that there are no easy  answers to the questions raised in these lectures.”

In his  closing lecture, Professor Hamburg discusses Communism’s prospects in  Russia and assesses the possibility that the Soviet Union will re-emerge  in some form.

 

LECTURES

16 Lectures
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