The Magic Lantern by Timothy Garton Ash

3 Points

1) The 1989 revolution in Poland was based on a desire for free elections. Strikes in shipyards led by Solidarity and negations carried out for the reformers by Lech Walesa were central to the reforms that took place. In Poland, the revolution worsened the economic situation because of the chaos and duration.

2) Hungary’s revolution was characterized by the funeral of Imre Nagy, a Hungarian communist leader who was killed in the 1956 uprising by the Soviets.… Read the rest here

On the European Common Market and the Free Trade Area

3 Observations

1) Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and West Germany are the six nations which were negotiating to establish a common market with no internal trade barriers and a common external tariff. The United Kingdom was interested in joining the elimination of trade barriers with these six founding members but having its own external tariff. Other Western European nations showed interest similar to the UK.

2) The United States’ policies were: to support moves to further political and economic strength and cohesion in Western Europe, and devotion to progress toward freer nondiscriminatory multilateral trade and convertibility of currencies.… Read the rest here

Stalin Speech 1946

3 Points

1) Stalin concludes that capitalism caused the atrocity that was WWII. Capitalism inevitably leads to crisis and conflict because of inequality. When nations compete rather than cooperate, uneven development occurs. Nations who feel they were cheated or are simply falling behind will try to redistribute spheres of influence by force. Perhaps a periodic redistribution of resources between national economies could have avoided this catastrophic war. One of the major flaws of the Marxist idea of a worldwide proletariat revolution was that everyone must be on board, which is what Stalin proposed here.… Read the rest here


3 Points

1) Fascism denies the necessity and possibility of perpetual peace. It believes that human nature inevitably leads to conflict and thus war. Also, war is the time when the noble are separated from the weak and cowardly. War helps expand the empire of the fascist state.

2) Fascism provides the strength and order that socialism in the 18th century lacked. Mussolini identifies Marxism as the problem in Europe and proves fascism as the solution.… Read the rest here

War Sonnets

A. Rupert Brooke was a well educated English poet know for his idealistic war sonnets. He was well educated and raised in a fairly well off family. He joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and died at age 27.

C. This was written in 1914 at the very beginning of WWI when nationalism and tension between countries was high.

L. The language was patriotic, passionate, and romantic.

A. The audience was the British people, especially those who who might potentially fight in the war.… Read the rest here

Self Help

A. Samuel Smiles was a Scottish author and government reformer. His father died of cholera so his mother had to work very hard to support him and his many siblings. This example set by his mother had a great influence on his life and certainly this book.

C. Published during the Victorian Era in Britain, this book made Smiles quite famous. The book has been called the bible of “mid-Victorian Liberalism.”

L. The language is simple and inspiring.… Read the rest here

Imperialism – Hobson


A. John Hobson (1902)

  • English economist
  • Critic of imperialism
  • Wealthy family and well educated


  • One of the most famous critiques of the economic bases of imperialism
  • Middle of 2nd IR
  • Britain had lost its monopoly on the world market


  • Intelligent, enlightened, somewhat complex


  • Britain’s leaders


  • Inform Britain not only that imperialism is unnecessary, but it wastes Britain’s resources on peoples that can never become part of Britain instead of fixing internal problems

M.… Read the rest here

Fichte – To the German Nation

Johann Gottlieb Fichte began his argument by outlining what makes a natural border for a people. He determined that language was a natural border that defines a people because they can communicate and grow. Germany was united by a common language and way of thinking. He then argued that foreign countries intentionally divided us the German peoples for their own benefit. Germany was unsuspecting and naively fell for their tricks. Fichte claimed that foreign countries manipulated Germany for their own selfish benefit.… Read the rest here

Marx and the Communist Manifesto

Marx delved into the many details describing why the current system was failing and was always bound to fail. He repeated the themes of antagonism and struggle. The proletariat was always in a losing battle against the bourgeoisie. He pointed out that the free market had gotten out of hand. A candle lit by the bourgeoisie had turned into a wildfire, which burnt down cities. The destruction did not stop at borders or coasts. The  system caused barbaric nations to be dependent on civilized ones just as the workers were dependent on the ruling class.… Read the rest here

The Wealth of Nations and Essay on Population

Chapter 1 of Smith’s famous text argued that specialization is key to economic growth. He explained how making each man a master of his particular trade makes production faster and leads to further innovation; a cycle of rapid growth then ensues. This growth spreads more wealth over more people, narrowing the gap between princes and peasants. Malthus, in his First Essay on Population, debunked Godwin’s argument that a more egalitarian society and economics will end poverty.… Read the rest here