Sputnik Generation: Class and International Relations

What struck me most about the Russia’s Sputnik Generation reading, was the manner in which both interviewees approached class distinctions at their childhood school. Natalia P. seemed almost acutely aware of the types of people her school in Saratov attracted: primarily children of the intelligentsia. Gennadii Viktorovich Ivanov, on the other hand, seemed not to have placed much stock in the types of students at School 42, brushing off the question by merely stating that it wasn’t of interest to children back then.… Read the rest here

Sevastopol & Local Legacy

Qualls’s discussion on instill a local legacy within Sevastopol in the post-World War II world seemed quite compelling, as it deviated from the narrative generally presented about cities within the Soviet Union.

Most cities and locales within the Soviet Union, it appears, followed a particular school of thought, which exalted Lenin and other important thinkers involved with the history of Communism, and integrating their own histories with the collective history of the USSR. In Sevastopol, however, local officials paid more attention to local heroes and history, highlighting the importance of Sevastopol throughout Russian history (not just the history of the Soviet Union).… Read the rest here

Stalin, Fascists and Freedom

The texts assigned for Friday’s class portray the changing views, which the Soviet Union held towards Germany and other Western nations. While the Hitler-Stalin Pact suggests a mutual understanding between the two leaders (and, by extension, their nations), the later documents paint a far different view of a ‘fascist’ Germany.

In Stalin’s speech in February 1946, he seems to align the Soviet Union with the Western world in a coalition against fascism, and describes the USSR (and other countries involved in the coalition) as freedom-loving.… Read the rest here

“Circus” and the Portrayal of Racism in the West

“Circus” is an exciting, dramatic movie from the 1930s. The main character, an American named Marion Dixon, escapes from America (specifically the South) during the era of Jim Crow laws, as she gave birth to a black child. Working in a circus in the Soviet Union, she conceals the knowledge of her child from almost everyone. In one of the final scenes of the movie, her manager (a German), storms into the ring with her child, attempting to disgrace her.… Read the rest here

O-90: Can the maternal bond be broken?

We, a dystopian novel written by Yevgeny Zamyatin in the 1920s, explores the trials and tribulations of a cipher, named D-503. D-503 tells the story through journal entries (known as ‘records’), which he intends to have sent up on the Integral, a spaceship being built and scheduled to launch in the near future.

Schedules appear to dominate the ciphers: they are assigned times to walk, have sex, appear in auditoriums. It seems that nothing is done without the instruction of a higher power.… Read the rest here

Nikolai II: Two Little Too Late

The document detailing Nikolai’s abdication in 1917 shows to readers that the tsar either possessed a very poor grasp on reality or that he couldn’t bear to really tell the Russian people why he chose to abdicate. In the opening of his abdication, Nikolai remarks that ‘it pleased god to send Russia a further painful trial’1. This frame of thinking completely neglects the real reason Nikolai abdicated–namely that his subjects felt angry and didn’t see him as a fit tsar if he couldn’t (and wouldn’t) change with the times and create liberal-minded policies to appease the general public.… Read the rest here

Leaving Moderates Out in the Cold

Reading The Catechism of the Revolutionary and Demands of the Narodnaia Volia reminded me of Pussy Riot. Both groups want roughly the same thing (considering the time periods in which they are from). In a documentary I watched about Pussy Riot and the trial proceeding their ‘performance’ at Christ the Savior Cathedral, a prosecutor approached the women and told them their actions essentially alienated liberals and prevented moderates from joining a more liberal camp. The Catechism and Demands essentially do just that.… Read the rest here

The Decembrist Revolution

The Decembrists failed at their mission (namely to overthrow Nicholas and place Constantine on the throne as tsar) because of poor leadership and a small following. After marching upon Senate Square, the soldiers merely stood there, waiting for orders and additional supporters, both of which never came.

Nicholas handled the uprising swiftly, surrounding Senate Square and eventually opening fire on the crowd, which quickly dissipated. He gathered up the officers involved in the failed revolution and jailed them, sending a clear message to all others who dared to question his legitimacy to the throne.… Read the rest here

Document Analysis 2 Paper Review

This document analysis, which discussed the reforms of Peter I and Catherine II, deserved the A it received. The writer included necessary contextual information for their audience, ensuring that readers would understand the topic. The writing itself is very concise, with each sentence aiding in proving the analysis’s thesis. When absolutely necessary, the author chose to use quotes to prove their point, but mostly paraphrased the historical documents in order to further his argument.

The topic sentences are controvertible and relate directly back to the thesis statement of the document analysis.… Read the rest here

The Domostroi, Chapters 35-49

The Domostroi clearly sets out each person’s role in a household. It is very clear on how one should carry themselves and how to act in various situations. In chapter 35, the focus is on how servants should conduct themselves while running errands. They are supposed to be very conservative and follow every instruction given. They are told not to gossip at any point, and to give the utmost respect to whoever they are sent to.… Read the rest here