1989

In the book, 1989, Mary Elise Sarotte used her book to look at the final days of the Soviet Union and the events that helped cause the collapse of the Soviet Union.  She argued that the events in China did not “transfer to Europe”, the easing of tensions by the Americans first and then the Soviets, the East Germans demanding a change in “the status quo”, “self confidence increase”, and “television transforms reality at a crucial moment.”1

One of the more crucial points and one of the more striking things to me, that Mary Sarotte made was the impact the media, particularly television, had on the end of the Soviet Union.  … Read the rest here

Women and abortion in Soviet Society

In the article “Revolution and the Family”, Wendy Goldman discussed the ideas of abortion and women in the Soviet Union.  She discussed how women in the Soviet Union, believed and even acted on using abortion in their lives.  She argued that abortion was used more often with women who were in comfortable positions, such as being married, than women who were unmarried, jobless, or young.  To prove her argument, she looked at influences in Soviet society that helped women in stable conditions make such decisions.… Read the rest here

Sputnik Generation

In his two articles, Donald Raleigh interviewed two people, Natalia P and Victorovich Ivanov, who were from the city of Sarastov, in the Oblast region of Russia.  Both of whom grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, recalled memories of their childhood, families, events, and learning experiences during the early years of their lives.  Natalia’s interview was particularly striking to me.

One of the more striking points that Natalia P. made in her interview involved her discussion of her father.  … Read the rest here

Sevastopol

Professor Qualls’s article, “Who Makes Local Memories?  The case of Sevastopol after World War II” discussed who created memories of Sevastopol and how they were created after World War II. In his piece, Professor Qualls argued that despite central authorities attempts to paint Serastopals history in a certain way, it was the “municipal and naval officers” who chose to write the history of Serastopal in a “deeper Russian Historical” way, thus creating a “localized mythology.”  ((Professor Karl Qualls, “Who Makes Local Memories?: The Case of Sevastopol after World War II”  Carlisle: Dickinson College Faculty Publications, Paper 1, 2011.… Read the rest here

Stalin’s Speech

In his 1946 speech, Joseph Stalin reflected on the events that occurred in Europe the last few years by ripping into the Capitalist system, praising the strength of the Soviet People, and discussing the positives of the war on the Soviet Union.  Of the items that Stalin covered in his speech, his praising of the Soviet people stood out to me the most.

During his discussion of the second World War, he noted that the war “was the fiercest and most arduous ever fought in the history of our Motherland.” (Stalin Speech: http://www.marx2mao.com/Stalin/SS46.html))  Highlighting the fact that the Soviet state had endured so much death and destruction from the invasion of the Nazis, Stalin recognized the fact that the Soviet Union had survived because of the determination of its people.  … Read the rest here

Circus

The Soviet film, Circus, made in 1936, was about an American Circus artist who was performing in the Soviet Union.  She had left the United States in favor of the Soviet Union because of the racial intolerance towards her and her black son.   The aim of the film, Circus, was to demonize the west, particularly the United States and Nazi Germany, for their inequality and racism.

One of the most vivid scenes came at the end of film when a man looking like Hitler stopped the Circus and attempted to demonize the American circus artist for giving birth to a black child.  … Read the rest here

WE

The book, WE, by Yevgeny Zamyatin, was about a Mathmatician who fell in love with a Women in a state which had no freedoms and life was bounded by working for the collective.  In the book, people wore the same clothes, marched the same way, given similar names(D-503) and were expected to work at maximum strength.

This book struck me in several ways. The setting struck me in that it reminded me of the early years of the Soviet Union where the state had promoted the goal of working for a common goal: a state rid of exploitation and class division.… Read the rest here

Nicholas II and Abdication

Change!  In the statements made on March 15, 1917, Nicholas II realized that the pressures from the people of Russia had reached a boiling point.  He felt that he had one option, to abdicate the thrown and leave it to his brother.  He stated “We have recognized that it is for the good of the country that we should abdicate the Crown of the Russian State and lay down the Supreme Power.  Not wishing to separate ourselves from our beloved son, we bequeath our heritage to our brother, the Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich…”1.  … Read the rest here

Violence

Violence in Warfare.  Mark Edele and Michael Geyers chapter focused on the type of warfare that occurred on the Eastern front in World War II.  They discussed how both of these sides introduced a type of warfare that did not involve “virtue and honor” but rather it involved such ideas as radicalization and barbarization.1   These two authors look at how this front evolved from a simple war into an all out struggle for domination.

Radicalization and Barbarization are two terms that really struck me in this chapter.  … Read the rest here

A Time of Troubles

Surveillance and Terror.  These two terms were used in Sheila Fitzpatricks chapter, A Time of Troubles, as a way of discussing the Great Purges of 1937 and 1938.   In this Chapter, Fitzpatrick explored the many ways the Great Terror took hold of the Soviet State and how it spread throughout the state.

The one part of Sheila Fitzpatrick chapter that really stood out to me was her section on how the Great Terror Spread.  Fitzpatrick noted that there were several ways that the Great Purge spread.  … Read the rest here