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Alliance or Compliance? Analyzing Power Relationships Inside and Outside Afghanistan

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this lesson (designed for grades 6-8 and 9-12) asks important questions about the US involvement in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan. Be aware that this lesson plan asks students to think critically about US involvement in Afghanistan, especially its collaboration witht the Northern Alliance against the Taliban. The authors of the lesson plan clearly see US involvement in Afghanistan as part of a pattern in history of the US government allying with dictatorial regimes in order to combat other regimes that are seen as a bigger threat to American interests. The primary source material included in this site is a New York Times article entitled, “Alliance of Convenience.” Produced by the New York Times Learning Network, 2001. Reviewed by Bill Wolf, April 2002, updated July 2003. Start by reading the primary source material for this lesson which is a New York Times article entitled, “Alliance of Convenience.”Be aware of the fact that this lesson plan asks students to think critically about US involvement in Afghanistan, especially its collaboration with the Northern Alliance against the Taliban. The authors of the lesson plan clearly see US involvement in Afghanistan as part of a pattern in history of the US government allying with dictatorial regimes in order to combat other regimes that are seen as a bigger threat to American interests. Produced by the New York Times Learning Network, 2001.

Beyond the Fall: The Former Soviet Bloc in Transition, 1989-99

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Recommended because this Time Magazine website features a photographic record of Eastern Europe for the decade beginning with the fall of Communism in Europe. Although the narration is not very detailed, the photographs give the viewer a remarkable picture of a region in transition from socialism to the free market. Start by clicking on “Introduction,” which explains the purpose of the website and provides its background. Be aware of the fact that these photographs were taken as much or more for their artistic rather than historical value. Suitable for grades 7-12.

Brave New World: The Cold War Begins (194Slavic and Eastern Europe-62)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this film tracks the building tension between the two superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States, from the post-WWII world of the 1940s through the 1960s, as the hope for post- war peace swiftly disintegrates into a “cold” war of competing ideologies between East and West. Interviews include the following subjects: meeting on the Elbe, refugees in Europe, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill at Fulton, Nikita Khrushchev, propaganda wars, NATA, Berlin blockade, Korea, Hungarian uprising, Berlin Wall (60 minutes). Part of the “People’s Century” series. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or Keisel.1@osu.edu) or may be purchased from Amazon.com for $20.

Media Type: Media

Bucknell University Russian Department

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because Bucknell University’s Russian Studies website is one of the richest sources of information on Russian culture, history, and language. Much of the material was compiled at Bucknell (for example the fantastic pages on Russian literature), but there are great links to external websites, too. Start by clicking on “Resources” to gain access to a multitude of Russian studies materials online. Be aware of the fact that each icon breaks down into sub-topics once it is clicked on.

CIA World Factbook 2002

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Recommended because it provides a wealth of very recent statistical information about each country in the world, including: an introduction, geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues. Country maps are good but slow to download. Start by choosing a country on the drop-down menu near the top of the screen. Be aware of the fact that the CIA World Factbook can be downloaded as a ZIP format file and that this website is fully searchable.

Cold War (1998)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this CNN documentary (in English) is a very good history of the Cold War in twenty-four episodes. Narrated by Kenneth Branagh. Each segment is about 48 minutes long, and all episodes are described below. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or Keisel.1@osu.edu) or may be purchased from Amazon.com for $99.92. Be aware of the fact that each of the twenty-four episodes is described below, in alphabetical order: Episode One, Episode Two, etc.

Media Type: Media

Collapse of the USSR: Ten Years On

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this BBC produced website does two things very well. First, it gives a detailed chronology and analysis of how and why the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Secondly, it reports on how each of the fifteen newly independent states of the former Soviet Union were doing in 2001, a full decade after the USSR imploded. An excellent website. Start by clicking on “Timeline: Countdown to Collapse,” which provides a very good summary of important events between Gorbachev’s accession to power in 1985 and the end of the Soviet Union in late 1991. Be aware of the fact that this is a very extensive website. Each of the four sections is very rich in information and contains numerous subsections.

Czechoslovakia (Video Visits) (1991)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is a terrific introduction to the history, culture, and people of Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia). In this fairyland of medieval castles and architectural treasures, East meets West to weave a fascinating cultural tapestry. Uncover the valiant history that lies behind Czechoslovakia’s struggle for democracy, tour the capital city of Prague with its historic Old Town Square, the Prague Castle, and the St. Vitus cathedral. Explore the Abyss of Macocha, and lose yourself in the vast interconnecting tunnels of Punkva Cave. Hope for good weather for a cable car ride up the High Tatra mountains of Slovakia. Listen to the haunting staccato of the shepherd’s ancient fujara, and delight in the artistry of a contemporary puppet play. Experience this proud nation, and celebrate the awakening of its triumph and tradition (55 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or Keisel.1@osu.edu) or available from Amazon.com for $25.

Media Type: Media

Defense Mechanisms:Exploring the Recent History of Nuclear Diplomacy Between Russia and the United States

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this lesson sheds light on the nuclear arms race between the US and Russia, a competition which continues more than a decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Overview of Lesson Plan: In this lesson, students examine the Cold War roots of the recent debate over the construction of United States and Russian missile defense shields. Start by reading the NYT article,Putin Says Russia Would Counter US Shield, upon which the lesson is based. Be aware of the fact that this lesson plan was published by the New York Times Learning Network, 2001, and is designed for grades 6-8 and 9-12. Also, be aware that this article is dated now, since the US has decided to build a nuclear shield and Russia has taken the decision not to try to build a shield of its own.

Destination: Ukraine

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because great interactive way to learn about this marvelous Eastern European country which had a democratic peaceful revolution just recently achieving success and establishing a new pro-European president. Start by browsing through recent news

Eastern Europe: 1900-1939

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this program traces the history of Eastern Europe from the reign of Franz Josef to the rise of Hitler and the beginnings of the Second World War. Topics covered include the war for Macedonia pitting Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece against the Turks; political manipulation of the Balkans by Russia, Austria, Britain, and France; domination of Serbia; the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; the fall of czarist Russia; the Hungarian Revolution of 1918; rise of the Communist Party; birth of the Czechoslovakian Republic; the Treaty of Versailles; the rise of Marshal Pilsudski in Poland; formation of the United Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes; and the Munich Conference (55 minutes). This video is the first part of the “Eastern Europe: Political Powder Keg” series described below.

Media Type: Media

Eastern Europe: 1939-1953

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because the events leading up to World War II had a devastating political and economic effect on Eastern Europe, as did the rise of Stalin and the thirst for empire of the Soviet Union. This program traces how both Hitler’s and Stalin’s quests for power left this vulnerable area of the world permanently destabilized. Topics include the invasion of Poland by Germany; intrigues and internal politics of the Balkan States; declaration of Croatian independence; the war between Russia and Germany; the Warsaw Ghetto; Marshal Tito and the Anti-Fascist Liberation Council; the battle for Stalingrad; American intervention; the Slavic resistance movement; the Yalta Conference; the Potsdam Conference; the Communist takeover; Tito’s break with Moscow; and closing of the Iron Curtain (59 minutes). This video is the second part of the “Eastern Europe: Political Powder Keg” series described below.

Media Type: Media

Eastern Europe: 1953-1991

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Recommended because this program begins with the death of Stalin, which precipitated a rash of political intrigues in the Balkans, and ends with the fall of Communism. Topics include the rise of Nikita Khrushchev; the 1956 Polish Workers Revolt; the liberation of Cardinal Wyszynski; the Hungarian Revolt; the rise of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania; Tito’s socialism; the Czechoslovakian Revolution; the death of Tito; the Helsinki Conference; Lech Walesa and the Polish miners’ strike; Gorbachev and perestroika; and the rise of democracy (59 minutes). This video is the third part of the “Eastern Europe: Political Powder Keg” series described below.

Media Type: Media

Eastern Europe: Political Powder Keg

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because this is a three-part series (each segment is described above) which provides an in-depth look at the troubled history of a part of the world that has served as a linchpin and tinderbox for much of the 20th century. The programs use rare archival footage to trace events from 1900 to the fall of Communism and the rise of democracy. 3-part series, 5Slavic and Eastern Europe-59 minutes each. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or Keisel.1@osu.edu) or the three tape set may be purchased from Films for the Humanities $345.95.

Media Type: Media

Episode Eight: Sputnik, 1949-1961

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because in the mid-50s, the Soviet Union seems to be forging ahead. In October 1957, the first Soviet satellite Sputnik orbits the earth–to the dismay and fear of the United States, frustrated by its own ineffectual space program. In 1961, the Soviets launch Yuri Gargarin into space. American will have to meet the challenge. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Eighteen: Backyard, 1954-1990

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Recommended because the United States has always regarded Latin America as its own backyard. Fearing the spread of communism, it seeks to destabilize leftist governments. In 1973, the CIA helps overthrow the Chilean President Salvador Allende. In the 1980s, it supports right-wing extremists in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Eleven: Vietnam, 1954-1968

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Recommended because Vietnam has been divided since the end of French colonial rule. The North is run by communists, the South by anti-Communists. Ignoring warnings against involvement in a nationalist struggle, the United States commits its armed forces. American protests against the war mount. The United States realizes this is not a war it can win. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Fifteen: China, 1949-1972

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Recommended because Chinese communists win the longest civil war in 20th century history. Mao’s land reforms are popular, but in 1958 he embarks on a series of catastrophic changes. China maintains an increasingly uneasy relationship with the Soviet Union. In 1960 the Sino-Soviet split paves the way for President Nixon’s historic visit to Beijing. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Five: Korea, 1949-1953

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Recommended because in June 1950 North Korea invades the South with Stalin’s blessing. The United States, backed by the United Nations, defends South Korea, and then is confronted by communist China. In mid-1951 the war grinds to a bloody stalemate but eventually an armistice is signed. Aggression has been contained. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Four: Berlin, 1948-1949

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Recommended because in Berlin, the American, British, and French sectors form a Western enclave in the Soviet zone of divided Germany. In June 1948, the Soviets blockade the city, but the Western allies successfully airlift in supplies. In August 1949, Soviet scientists explode an atomic bomb, establishing nuclear parity between the two superpowers. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Fourteen: Red Spring, The Sixties

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Recommended because in the Soviet bloc, communist rule stifles ambition and achievement. Soviet defense expenditure cripples economic growth. The young lust for totems of America’s youth culture–blue jeans and rock and roll. In Czechoslovakia, Dubcek attempts limited reform, but in 1968, Soviet force crushes the Prague Spring. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Nine: The Wall, 1958-1963

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Recommended because the fate of Germany remains unresolved. West Germany has been admitted to NATO. Within East Germany, Berlin is divided between East and West by an open border. Thousands seize the chance to flee the communist system. To keep their people in, the East Germans with Soviet backing, build their wall. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Nineteen: Freeze, 1977-1981

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Recommended because concern for human rights in the East grows. Detente ebbs. The Soviets arm Eastern Europe. The US threatens to place missiles in Western Europe. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan ends detente. Promising tougher measures against Moscow, Reagan defeats Carter for the presidency. In Poland martial law is imposed. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode One: Comrades, 19Africa-1945

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because though ideological enemies, the Soviet Union and the United States are allies against Hitler during World War II. At the end of the war, Europe is divided, and the one-time allies now confront each other. The United States has the atomic bomb. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Seven: After Stalin, 1953-1956

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Recommended because thaw is conceivable with Stalin’s death. Khrushchev outmaneuvers Malenkov for power and visits the West. Germans, Poles, and Hungarians attempt to rise against Soviet rule. In 1956, an uprising in Hungary is ruthlessly crushed by Soviet tanks. The United States, pledged to contain rather than overthrow communism, does nothing. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Seventeen: Good Guys, Bad Guys, 1967-1978

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Recommended because the superpowers use surrogates to wage ideological and often physical conflict. In 1967 and 1973, American backed Israel triumphs over Soviet-backed Egypt and Syria. In Africa, the Soviets exploit nationalist, anti-colonial struggles. The US supports South Africa in its battle against communism. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Six: Reds, 1947-1953

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because following Stalin’s domination of Eastern Europe and the loss of China, American democracy falls victim to anti-communist hysteria, but survives it. Eisenhower is elected president. In the Soviet Union, Stalin reinforces the climate of terror on which his rule is based. When he dies in 1953 the Soviet people mourn the end of an era. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Sixteen: Detente, 1969-1975

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because North Vietnam launches a new offensive against the South. The US steps up its bombing campaign but seeks peace through diplomacy. Nixon and Brezhnev sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT). The US finally withdraws from Vietnam. Detente culminates in the Helsinki Declaration of 1975. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Ten: Cuba, 1959-1962

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because Khrushchev decides, with Castro’s agreement, to install short and medium range nuclear missiles in Cuba, only 90 miles from the U.S. The United States detects the missile sites and blockades the island. The superpowers confront each other; rather than embark on nuclear war, they each step back. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Thirteen: Make Love, Not War

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because in the Sixties Western economies grow and prosper, fueled by partly by armaments production. Rejecting their parents’ affluence and the Cold War, many of the young protest and rebel. There is racial violence in US inner cities. Rock music expresses the mood of a disenchanted generation. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Three: Marshall Plan, 1947-1952

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because the United States adopts the Truman Doctrine, pledging to defend freedom worldwide. Secretary of State George Marshall plans to bolster economic recovery in Europe. Seeing this as a threat, Stalin forbids his satellites to participate. The world effectively divides. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Twelve: MAD, 1960-1972

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because throughout the 60s the US and the Soviet Union are locked in a nuclear stand-off. Each realizes that bombing the enemy could provoke retaliation and self-destruction. Nuclear strategy evolves into Mutual Assured Destruction, or MAD, in which both sides are guaranteed certain annihilation in the event of nuclear war. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Twenty-four: Conclusions, 1989-1991

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Recommended because the US proves the stronger, the Soviet Union implodes. Germany is reunited. Shorn of its empire and communist domination, Russia faces its future with its economy in chaos. The balance of terror that has kept the peace for more than 40 years vanishes. The Cold War has ended without the use of nuclear weapons. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Twenty-one: Spies, 1944-1994

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Recommended because early CIA attempts to penetrate the Iron Curtain are thwarted. The US reacts with increasingly sophisticated technological intelligence–the U-2 spy plane, satellite reconnaissance, and electronic eavesdropping. Yet human spies remain important. Sometimes betrayers, sometimes betrayed, many spies pay with their lives. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Twenty-three: The Wall Comes Down, 1989

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Recommended because the dominoes fall.Incredibly quickly, the Soviet bloc is breaking up, virtually without bloodshed. First Poland, then Hungary, then East Germany slip away from communist control. Gorbachev makes no effort to hold them back with force. Amid scenes of jubilation, the hated Berlin Wall comes down. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Twenty-two: Star Wars, 1980-1988

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Recommended because Reagan boosts US defense spending and proposes the Strategic Defense Initiative, an anti-missile system in space. New Premier Gorbachev knows the Soviets can’t match the US and wants to liberalize and reconstruct the economy. After summits in Geneva, Reykajavik and Washington, the leaders agree to drastic arms cuts. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Twenty: Soldiers of God, 197Slavic and Eastern Europe-1988

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Recommended because Afghanistan is a war that costs the lives of almost 15,000 Soviet conscripts and an estimated one million Afghans. The United States supplies billions of dollars of weapons to unlikely allies–Islamic fundamentalists. The result is a Vietnam-style conflict which takes its toll on the Soviets and hastens the end of the Cold War. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Episode Two: Iron Curtain: 194Slavic and Eastern Europe-1947

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because the Soviet Union dominates Eastern Europe. Churchill warns of the consequences. Stalin insists that the governments of the Soviet Union’s client states be pro-communist. Impoverished after the war, Great Britain opts out as a world power. The United States assumes the mantle of world leadership. Part of the CNN documentary series, “Cold War,” described above.

Media Type: Media

Facing the Future: Part 3

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because in Boris Godunov, the great composer Mussorgsky dramatized the conflict between power and the people during Russia’s original “Time of Troubles.” Sergei Eisenstein retold history with silent films of such power that they became more real than actual events. This segment explores the advance of Russian music and cinema, and looks at how new media forms are shaping Russian during its current time of change (60 minutes). Part of the “Face of Russia” series.

Media Type: Media

Fallout from Chornobyl

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this lesson (designed for grades 6-8)focuses on the most spectacular nuclear accident in history–the meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in the USSR in 1986. Students should recognize that changes to the environment in one place can often affect other, distant places. To introduce and reinforce this concept, students will read and analyze several articles describing consequences of the 1986 explosion and fire at a nuclear power plant in Chornobyl, Ukraine, a country which at that time was part of the Soviet Union. Students will then create a map showing which countries were affected by this disaster and how they were affected. Produced by the National Geographic Society. Be aware of the fact that this site has several links to Chornobyl related websites in addition to the online articles.

Fallout: Nuclear Energy and Destruction (1942-87)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki marked the end of WWII — and also heralded the beginning of the nuclear arms race. Simultaneously, the peaceful potential of nuclear energy was held out as the hope of the future, offering cheap, clean and unlimited energy. But early optimism and enthusiasm evaporated as the dangers of radiation and nuclear accidents became evident. Authoritarian governments ignored challenges to nuclear energy programs caused by popular apprehension, but all governments encountered growing evidence of the costs of nuclear power. Interviews include the following themes: the atomic bomb, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, nuclear testing, Cuban Missile crisis, protest movements, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl (60 minutes). Part of the “People’s Century” series. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or Keisel.1@osu.edu) or may be purchased from Amazon.com for $20.

Media Type: Media

Famine-33 (1991) In Ukrainian with English subtitles.

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Recommended because a common misperception about Soviet communism is that victims of the Communist regime were primarily members of the privileged upper classes. This movie shows that in some cases members of national groups — in this case Ukrainians — were also victims of communist repression. Specifically this film is recommended as a reenactment of the 19East Asia-33 famine in the Ukraine from the Ukrainian anti-Soviet perspective which views the famine as a deliberate policy of genocide directed against the Ukrainian people. Estimates of the number of Ukrainians who starved to death at this time range from five to ten million people. Produced at the Dovzhenko Film Studio Kyiv Ukraine (95 minutes). Availability: may be borrowed from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770; or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu); apparently out of print. Reviewed by Bill Wolf Ukraine (95 minutes). Availability: may be borrowed from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770; or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu); apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

From Nyet to Da: Understanding the Russians

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Recommended because this is the single best book for Americans to read to gain insight into how and why Russians think and act differently than us. Remarkable insights into how the Russian character has been shaped by their culture, geography, political system, etc. Not only useful, this is a very readable and interesting book. Reviewed by Bill Wolf.

Citation: Richmond, Yale. (1996). Paperback, 219 pages; Revised & Updated edition; Intercultural Press; ISBN: 1877864412

Media Type: Book

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Hungary: Land of Hospitality (1994)

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Recommended because this is an excellent survey of Hungary which includes Budapest, Lake Balaton, the medieval city of Pecs, horseback riding on the Great Plain, and the vineyards of Eger. Part of the very well-made “Video Visits” series (55 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or Keisel.1@osu.edu) or may be purchased from Amazon.com for $25.

Media Type: Media

In Depth: Investigating Al-Qaeda

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this BBC website gives in-depth news coverage and analysis to the US led war against Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as throughout the world in the wake of the September 11th attacks on the United States. Start by exploring covered topics such as: “Overview,” “Al-Qaeda’s Origins and Links,” “Who’s Who in Al-Qaeda,” “11 September in Context,” “Winning the War on Terror,” and “Money Trail,” among many others. Be aware of the fact that this excellent site is updated daily by one of the world’s leading news organizations.

Kosovo: Of Blood and History

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because to fully understand the recent bloodshed in Kosovo, one must go back 600 years and trace the causes of the undying hatreds that permeate Serbia and the surrounding region. Using eyewitness accounts, maps, and footage both of historic events and of Serbian life, this recommended program examines the ethnic nationalism and religious extremism that have resulted in the long-standing hatred between Serbs and Kosovar Albanians, hatred that continues to destabilize the Balkans during the Milosevic regime (41 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write: Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Films for the Humanities for $150.

Media Type: Media

Lenin’s Tomb : The Last Days of the Soviet Empire

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Recommended because Recommended because this Pulitzer Prize winner for nonfiction is one of the best single sources for information on the collapse of the Soviet Union and the early Post-Soviet era. Rather than providing a chronicle of events, Remnick instead writes about key personalities, most of whom he personally interviewed. A great read. Those who like this book should consider also reading as a follow-up, Remnick’s 1998 “Resurrection: The Struggle for a New Russia.” Available from Amazon.com for $11.17.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, April 2002; updated August 2003.

Citation: David Remnick, 588 pages (1993)

Media Type: Book

Library of Congress Country Studies

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because the Library of Congress Country Studies are online versions of books in the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the US Army. Start by clicking on “Browse” which will take you to a page with lists of scores of countries. By clicking on a country of your choice, you will be taken to the table of contents for that country’s study. Each section of the table of contents is a hyperlink to the text of that section of the study. Be aware of the fact that each country is covered in very great detail, much more so even than in the CIA World Factbook. On the other hand, most of the information was published around 1996-97, so it is not quite as up-to-date as the CIA World Factbook website.

Lonely Planet

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Recommended because although it is designed primarily for travelers, this site gives useful and detailed information about each country in the region. Especially helpful are the very fine country maps, vital statistics of each country, slide shows featuring scenes from each country, and short summaries of each nation’s history. Start by choosing the world region (continent) and country that you are interested in. Be aware of the fact that you can also focus on some larger cities instead of whole countries. For example, in Eastern Europe, there are separate entries for Prague, Budapest, Moscow, and St. Petersburg, among others. The information given is both very detailed and useful.

Making of Russia:1480-1860

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is one of only a very few videos that cover early Russian history. From the Viking expansion the first Russian dynasty, the Ruriks, was created. The rise of Muscovy and the later conquests of Siberia. In the17th century, under Peter the Great, St. Petersburg was built. Under Catherine the Great and her successors Russia developed into a power in the west. Peasant unrest led to the disintegration of the tsarist government. Part of “The World: A Television History” (26 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu). Apparently no longer available commercially.

Media Type: Media

Moscow and Leningrad: The Crown Jewels of Russia (1990)

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Recommended because this film is part of the superb “Video Visits” series. The film starts in Moscow where the Kremlin, Red Square, Lenin’s Tomb, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Bolshoi Ballet, the Moscow Circus, Gorky Park and GUM are all featured. In Leningrad one sees Palace Square, the Winter Palace with its Hermitage Museum as well as Peter the Great’s fabulous retreat, Petrodvorets (50 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Amazon.com for $25.

Media Type: Media

Mr. Donn’s Countries and Continents

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because of its comprehensive guide to lesson plans, units, other teaching ideas on Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union (Europe and all the major areas of the world are also included). Topics and materials include lessons, units, simulation games, worksheet ideas and more on topics such as Russia and Communism, NATO and Russia, the Mystery of Anastasia and the Romanovs, the Shrinking of the Aral Sea, several lessons on Afghanistan and terrorism, the Balkans and conflict there, introduction to Eastern European nations like Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, etc. An excellent Internet resource. Start by clicking on either “Europe” or “Russia/Soviet Union.”Be aware of the fact that this website also has lesson plans for the other major areas of the world. It is by no means confined to Russia and Europe.

My Sweet Little Village (Czech 1986)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is another good choice to show that life was not always gray and dull under communism this time in socialist Czechoslovakia. Here’s the story: For years the overbearing Pavek has endured Otik the “town idiot sharing his meals and the front seat of their dump truck. But Otik is such a sweet natured fool that Pavek, exasperated as he becomes, always relents on his threats to find another partner. This Laurel and Hardy-like pair are at the heart of a comedy which finds humor and warmth in an abundance of everyday situations. The town doctor regularly wrecks his car while admiring the lush countryside, a romantic teenager develops a hopeless crush on his sister’s school teacher, and a straying wife and her boyfriend are just one step ahead of her suspicious, hot-headed husband. One more thing to look for — elements of Czech nationalism are interspersed throughout the film. Directed by Jiri Menzel (100 minutes). In Czech with English subtitles. Availability: may be borrowed from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770; or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $25.

Media Type: Media

Peace de Resistance: Exploring Conflict Resolution Through Examining Current Events in Macedonia (Ethnic Conflict)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because ethnic conflict in Macedonia had the potential to start a Third World War, but news coverage of this subject was surprisingly meager. Overview of Lesson Plan: In this lesson, students consider ways in which the current conflict in Macedonia parallels their lives and explore techniques for resolving such conflicts. Be aware of the fact that this lesson plan was produced by the New York Times Learning Network and is designed for grades 6-8, 9-12.

People Power: The End of Soviet-Style Communism (1980-93)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this film gives students a vivid picture of how Communism came to its end in Europe. In 1991, the Communist Party lost control of the Soviet Union, the culmination of a process that had started in 1980 in the Polish shipyards at Gdansk. Eyewitnesses tell the story of how the Communist system that dominated post-war Eastern Europe collapsed as they remember the extraordinary weeks that preceded and followed the fall of the Berlin Wall; Poland’s fight for Solidarity; Czechoslovakia’s “Velvet Revolution”; Romania’s violent overthrow of communism; Gorbachev and perestroika, the August 1991 Putsch, and the collapse of the Soviet Union (60 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Amazon.com for $20.

Media Type: Media

People’s Century: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Times (1997)

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Recommended because this is a high quality film documentary of the twentieth century. The OSU Slavic Center has several episodes, all concerned with themes relating to Eastern Europe and communism. These include: “Brave New World: The Cold War Begins (194Slavic and Eastern Europe-62),” “Fallout: Nuclear Energy and Destruction (1942-87),” “People Power: The End of Soviet-Style Communism (1980-93),” and ” Red Flag: Communism in Russia (19Africa-36),” all of which are described separately in this section. The series is a joint production of the BBC and WGBH Boston. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu), or the entire series may be purchased from Amazon.com for $350.

Media Type: Media

Poland: A Proud Heritage (Video Visits) (1989)

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Recommended because this is an excellent introduction to this Central European country. In this video, the hospitable people of Poland welcome you to their friendly country. You will journey to Warsaw, the capital, filled with newly restored historical buildings. In Castle Square, gaze at the Royal Castle and Sigmund’s Column, the symbol of the city. Tour Cracow’s Wawel Hill, the ancient seat of Polish kings, and enjoy Polish folklore in the Tatras Mountains. Bask in the sun at Gdansk and experience the splendid serenity of Bialowieza Forest — Europe’s last virgin woodland. Pause in commemoration at the Auschwitz memorial. Glide down the picturesque Dunajec River, then visit the monastery of Jasna Gora, where millions of Poles make an annual pilgrimage to see the famed Black Madonna (55 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Amazon.com for $25.

Media Type: Media

Polish-Americans

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Recommended because this film provides a discussion of the lives of three generations of Polish-Americans represented by a single family, including how and why they immigrated to the US in the first place, the importance of their cultural identity, how it is maintained, and how it changes. Designed for grades 4-10. From the “Multicultural Peoples of North America” series (30 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Amazon.com for $40.

Media Type: Media

Red Flag: Communism in Russia (19Africa-36)

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Recommended because when Vladimir Lenin’s Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace in 1917, they did so in the name of a new ideology. Millions were drawn by its promise. In Red Flag, the people who were there — from members of the Red Guard to party activists to students — explain how Communism appealed to their deepest hopes and dreams. Through them, we hear how Communist leadership, under Lenin and later, Joseph Stalin, compromised the proletarian ideal — and how hope eventually gave way to despair. Interviews include the following subjects: the storming of the Winter Palace, Lenin, Bolsheviks, civil war, mass literary campaigns, Lenin’s death, Soviet “five year plans,” collectivization, kulaks, “show” trials”, and Stalin’s purges (60 minutes). Part of the “People’s Century” series. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu) or may be purchased from Amazon.com for $20.

Media Type: Media

Russia: Discovering Russia (1995)

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Recommended because part of the “Video Visits” series, this well-made travelogue not only vividly shows the diverse Russian landscape and major Russian cities, it effectively integrates Russian culture and history into the film as well. Highly recommended for classroom use as an introduction to Russia (60 minutes). In English. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu) or may be purchased from Access Russia for $25.

Media Type: Media

Russian and East European Network Information Center (REENIC)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because REENIC is one of the leading websites in the US for comprehensive lists of links to websites relating to Russia, the former Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe. Start by clicking on any of the nearly thirty countries in the region to find website links organized into about two dozen different categories like “Politics,” “People,” and “Geography and Travel.”Be aware of the very useful search feature of this website. Compiled by the University of Texas.

Russian and East European Studies (REES) Web

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Recommended because along with the University of Texas’ REENIC, this is the leading website for Internet links on virtually any subject for things Russian and East European. Start by either browsing the site’s annotated links by subject, geographica region, culture, or time period; or by entering a keyword in the site’s search engine. Compiled and maintained by the University of Pittsburgh which has an outstanding Eastern European studies center.

Russian Revolution: 1917

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this video describes the overthrow of the Russian Provisional Government in 1917, by the revolutionary movement led by Vladimir Lenin. From the “History’s Turning Points” series, 1995 (30 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Ambrose Video as part of the 5 CD set for $395.

Media Type: Media

Russian Revolutions: Nightline (2000)

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Recommended because these are well-made documentaries on contemporary Russia produced by ABC News “Nightline.” Each program is 30 minutes long. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from ABC News . Each episode is $30, or the entire six part series is $110. The various episodes are: Part I: Sexual Freedom — At a Price; Part II: A Free Press — If You Can Afford It; Part III: The Russian Army Fights for Its Life; Part IV: Crime, Corruption, and the High Price of Doing Business; Part V: Boris Berezovsky: The Unseen Power; Part VI: Vladimr Putin: The Man, The Legend.

Media Type: Media

Siege of Constantinople: 1453

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Recommended because this video will familiarize students with an important but overlooked historical subject. Constantinople was the greatest city of its time and the gateway to Europe. For a thousand years the Byzantine Kings had lived in security behind its massive walls. In 1453 Sultan Mehmet, leader of the Muslim world, breached the walls of Constantinople with a powerful new weapon, the cannon. His victory led to the creation of the Ottoman Empire, which flourished in Eastern Europe for over 500 years. From the “History’s Turning Points” series, 1995 (30 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu) or may be purchased from Ambrose Video for $395 (for the 5 DVD set called “History’s Turning Points”).

Media Type: Media

The Aral Sea: Then and Now (Environment)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this website highlights one of the most dramatic environmental problems in the world today: the disappearance, due to diversion of water for irrigating cotton fields, of Central Asia’s Aral Sea. The shrinking of the Aral Sea has led to a number of problems for people in the region of Central Asia. Topics and materials in this lesson include asking students to consider what happens when a sea shrinks and to compare pictures of the Aral Sea at different times. Students will conclude by pretending to be residents of the Aral Sea region, drawing “before” and “after” pictures of how changes to the sea have affected their lives. Be aware of the fact that this lesson is recommended for Grades 3-5, and that there is also a similar lesson designed for Grades 6-8. Produced by the National Geographic Society.

The Facade of Power: Part 2

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because here Russian architecture is examined, with a focus on St. Petersburg and Tsarskoe Selo. The program also looks at the writings of Gogol, who revealed the human suffering behind Russia’s “Facade of Power.” His Dead Souls first inspired 19th-century political radicals, then Soviet dissidents, and still influences Russian artists today (60 minutes). Part of the “Face of Russia” series.

Media Type: Media

The Face of Russia (1998)

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Recommended because this is a very good three part documentary (with each part described in this section) on Russian art and culture, written and hosted by James Billington, Librarian of Congress, and author of “The Icon and the Axe,” a classic text on Russian culture. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write: Keisel.1@osu.edu), or the three video set may be purchased from Amazon.com for $80 (episodes can be purchased separately for $30). The three parts are: ” The Face on the Firewood: Part 1,” “The Face of Power: Part 2,” and “Facing the Future: Part 3.”

Media Type: Media

The Face on the Firewood: Part 1

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Recommended because icon painting, the first Russian art form, has survived and flourished during Russia’s many times of troubles, including the devastating anti-clerical decrees wrought by Communism. This segment reveals the spiritual ideas that have animated Russia for 1,000 years and witnesses recent restorations of churches and monasteries from Kiev to the Kremlin (60 minutes). Part of the “Face of Russia” series.

Media Type: Media

The Fall of Berlin (1949) In Russian with English subtitles.

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Recommended because this is one of several films which portrays the horrendous cost to Russians (and other Soviet people) of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two. Most Americans are not aware that the Soviet contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany was much greater than the US role in the victory over Germany. This film can help American students appreciate the overwhelmingly large Soviet contribution to the Allied victory over Nazi German in May 1945. Specifically this film is one of the all-time best examples of Soviet Socialist Realism on film this movie gives the official Stalinist version of how the Soviets defeated the Germans in the Second World War. Contains rare portrayals of Stalin as the “Great Leader” wished himself to appear. Also featured is the story of a young Russian couple and how their lives are dramatically affected by the war. The model steel worker becomes an exemplary soldier and the school teacher is captured by the Germans and forced into slave labor. The film starts in the “happy” days just before the German invasion of June 22, 1941 portrays the battles of Moscow and Stalingrad and ends only after the Soviet capture of the Reichstag in Berlin and ends only after the Soviet capture of the Reichstag in Berlin and Stalin’s triumphant entry into the city where he appears before a jubilant and adoring crowd in the film’s final scene (approximately 3 hours). Availability: may be borrowed from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770; or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu) but not available commercially.

Media Type: Media

The Southern Center for International Studies

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because it is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the public’s awareness of the world. This organization produces an educational series titled World in Transition Series. The strengths of this series include instructional guides, lesson plans and videotapes on seven world regions. Start by viewing the Africa in Transition Unit . This unit looks at 53 African countries with attention to issues facing the continent. In an attempt to keep the series current, teachers have access to regular updates. Updates contain the latest information on economic, political social and foreign policy changes in a specific region. Be aware of the fact that last updates for Africa are from 2003.

Ukraine: Ancient Crossroads, Modern Dreams (1993)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this video is an excellent introduction to the people, culture and history of the Ukraine, including the cities of Kiev, Lviv, and Crimea. Part of the Video Visits series (55 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu). It can also be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $25.

Media Type: Media

Why Is There Hunger in Africa? Nature Pleads Not Guilty.

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Recommended because this unit begins with a general look at hunger and then uses small group activities involving case studies from Africa to explore the roles that conflict, local decision-making, international policy, aid/structural adjustment programs, technology, and the environment play in the web of relationships that determine who does and does not have adequate food. Available from http://spice.stanford.edu/ordering/index.html.
Reviewed by SPICE. Be aware of the fact that this 130 page unit is designed for grades 7-12. Although the material is somewhat dated it is designed for World Issues, geography, and environmental studies.

Citation: The Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education Publication. $34.95.

Media Type: Book

Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this lesson plan (designed for grade levels 9-12) sheds light on the causes of the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s by using as its text the diary of a child who lived in Sarajevo during the Bosnian civil war. Start by reading the “Objectives” section. Be aware of the fact that you will need the book “Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life In Sarajevo” (not available online) for this lesson plan. The book, by the way, is available in paperback from Amazon.com for $8.80. With the book and this lesson plan, students come to understand what it was like to be a teenager in Sarajevo during the Bosnian civil war. Teachers should consider using the video “Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation” as a supplement to this lesson. Produced by the Discovery Channel.

Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation (1996)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this video (in English) is a Peabody award-winning documentary that traces the war in the Balkans, from its beginnings in 1987 to its escalation in 1990 to its uneasy, American-brokered and United Nations- enforced peace in 1995. You’ll meet the conflict’s leaders and its war criminals. Learn how the policy of “ethnic cleansing” was initiated. Watch the shelling and running battles between the warring factions. Hear survivors’ tales of atrocities and massacres. And witness the heartbreak of a country and people torn apart by war (5 hours, three cassettes) irst Cassette: Episode One: The Cracks Appear; Episode Two: Descent into War (100 minutes). Second Cassette: Episode Three: The Collapse of Unity; Episode Four: The Gates of Hell (100 minutes). Third Cassette: Episode Five: No Escape (50 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu). It can also be purchased from the Discovery Channel for $50. Be aware of the fact that there is an online Discovery Channel lesson plan to accompany this video.

Media Type: Media