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1917: Revolution in Russia (1988)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is a National Geographic portrait of pre and post-revolutionary Russia using historical footage (27 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 PC Micro for $55.97.

Media Type: Media

A Documentary History of Russian Communism: From Lenin to Gorbachev

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Recommended because Recommended as an excellent source for speeches, decrees, and other documents which chronicle the evolution of Soviet Communism. An excellent supplement to narrative accounts of Soviet history. Available from Amazon.com for $28.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: Robert V. Daniels (Editor) (3rd ed., 1993)

Media Type: Book

A History of Russia

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because this is THE standard Russian history text by the distinguished historian from the University of California at Berkeley. It covers well the ancient and Medieval periods of Russian history. Availability: may be purchased in hardback from Amazon.com for $59.95.

Citation: Nicholas V. Riasanovsky (6th ed., 1999)

Media Type: Book

Alexander the Sphinx

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is a good introduction to the reign of Tsar Alexander I (ruled 1801-25). Be aware of the fact that his reign was somewhat puzzling (hence the reference to the Sphinx) in that he appeared to favor constitutionalism early in his rule, but after the final defeat of Napoleon he became more conservative, even reactionary. It was his death that precipitated the a failed attempt at constitutionalism, the Decembrist revolt. This lecture is by Professor Gerhard Rempel of Western New England College and is part of his Russian history course.

Andrei Sakharov

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Recommended because this website provides a brief but thoughtful biography of the father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb and later its most respected political dissident and proponent of Western liberalism until his untimely death in 1989–just as Gorbachev’s glastnost was bringing democracy to Russia. One way to view Sakharov is as the “Soviet J. Robert Oppenheimer”. Be aware of the fact that this is part of Time magazine’s excellent “100 Most Important People of the Twentieth Century” website.

Austria-Hungary, Czech and Slovak History

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because the Hapsburg and Austro-Hungarian Empires ruled what is now Austria, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, southern Poland,and Croatia from about 1500 to 1918. This website gives links to general sources on Hungarian, Czech, and Slovak history, as well as Hapsburg history. Start by clicking on the excellent General History of Austria section. Be aware of the fact that this is a commercial website–you may get some advertising “pop-ups” when you use it. Part of the History Net site.

Behind the Urals

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended as an account of Soviet industrialization, told by a young American welder who helped build the steel mills at Magnitigorsk in the 1930s. Chronicles both the remarkable successes of Soviet industrialization as well as its very high human cost. Available from Amazon.com for $15.95.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: John Scott (1989)

Media Type: Book

Beyond the Pale: The History of Jews in Russia

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because of its comprehensive approach to this subject. Topics in this website include not only a detailed history of Jews in Russia (including the Holocaust and the Soviet purges) from the late eighteenth century to the present, but also the roots of anti-Semitism in European history. This is an extremely professional production with dozens of high-quality photographs to complement the narratives. Start by looking at the “Exhibit Guide.”Be aware of the fact that this website has both an English and Russian language version.

Catherine and Peter: The Odd Couple

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Recommended because it is a good website for combining facts with fun in discussing the relationship of the young Catherine the Great with her Russian husband whom she eventually supplanted. Be aware of that this website has links to other related periods in Imperial Russian history including a couple on Catherine (Catherine the Great’s Ascent and Russia’s Dark Enlightenment) as well as Peter the Great.

Catherine the Great: Life and Legend

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended because there are several good biographies of Catherine and this is one of them. It is both scholarly and accessible to the general reader. Availability: may be purchased in paperback from Amazon.com for $15.05.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: John T. Alexander (1989)

Media Type: Book

Chernobyl: Ten Years Later

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because of its detailed coverage of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster through a series of Time Magazine articles written over the course of a decade. Start by simply reading the text of the story–which is accompanied by excellent photographs, then have a look at the additional Time articles on the subject. Be aware of the fact that there is an excellent Map and Charts section included in this website.

Citizen Kurchatov: Stalin’s Bomb Maker

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Recommended because this is a biography of Igor Kurchatov, the father of the Soviet atomic bomb. It provides insight into a number of issues: the development of the atomic and hydrogen bombs; the history of the Soviet Union under Stalin and Khrushchev; the Cold War rivalry between the US and USSR. Start by going to the site index. This website is so extensive that it is hard to know where to begin and the site index provides a great overview. Be aware of the fact that there are a number of good links to other websites dealing with nuclear weapons issues. Based on the PBS documentary by the same name. Website produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting in 1999.

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.

Collectivization and Industrialization (1928-33)

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Recommended because this website is part of the Library of Congress’s Soviet Archive Exhibit and it provides excellent background information on Stalin’s plan of modernization for the USSR, launched in 1928-29, which called for the industrialization of Soviet Russia financed by the collectivization (i.e., socialization) of Soviet agriculture. The narrative is supplemented by recently released documents from the old Soviet archives which show how collectivization led to massive loss of livestock and even famine among the peasantry. Start by reading the text and looking at the accompanying Soviet documents. Be aware of the link between agricultural collectivization and the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33, which led to the deaths of five to ten million peasants.

Cultural Atlas of Russia and the Former Soviet Union (Cultural Atlas Series)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this publication (revised 1998 edition) is a dazzling display of the history and culture of Russia and the former Soviet Union through 50 maps and 300 photographs (200 in color). A survey of Russian civilization from prehistory to the present. Be aware of the fact that this resource is available from Amazon.com for $35. Originally reviewed by Bill Wolf, April 2002.

Citation: R. R. Milner-Gulland, Nikalai Dijeuski, Robin Miner-Gulland, Nikolai Dejevsky; 240 pages

Media Type: Book

Excerpts from the Text of Khrushchev’s Secret Speech to the 20th Party Congress, 1956

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because of the light it sheds on Khrushchev’s first open denunciation of Stalin (in 1956), which led to a political thaw in Soviet Russia and threw the Communist world into turmoil, leading eventually to the failed Hungarian uprising in October 1956. Be aware of the fact that this webiste is part of the excellent Modern History Sourcebook.

Forced Labor Camps

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Recommended because this is an interesting and useful exhibition of pictures and stories about the history of forced labor in Soviet Russia and other Soviet Bloc countries. Topics and materials in this site include transcipts of official documents, letters, and testimony relating to the Soviet Gulag, all accompanied by photographs and narrative text. Finally, links to other websites dealing with Soviet forced labor camps are given. A very fine site. Originally reviewed by Tim Cave.

Fourteen Days in October: The Cuban Missile Crisis

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Recommended because the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was perhaps the closest the world came to the exchange of nuclear weapons between the US and the USSR. This colorful and informative website gives the visitor the chance not only to understand the Cuban Missile Crisis, but to experience it. One can hear the same daily briefings given to President Kennedy, view the same satellite photographs he was given, and to read the letters that Kennedy and Soviet leader Khrushchev exchanged during the crisis. This is a first-class site that makes learning fun. Start by scrolling down the homepage and reading the introduction which gives good instructions on how to proceed. Be aware of the possibility that all of the features of the website may not be working properly–apparently there is ongoing maintenance to try to keep everything functioning.

Frontline: Russian Roulette (1997)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is as an investigation into the security of the Russian nuclear arsenal, with interviews of Russian and US military commanders and scientists about the potential for catastrophe in the former Soviet Union. Russian military officers also reveal how nuclear suitcase bombs may have gone missing, only to reappear later on the international black market (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); apparently out of print. Be aware of the fact that there is a very fine website as a supplement to the documentary film.

Media Type: Media

Frontline: The Struggle for Russia (1992)

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Recommended because this is a documentary on Yeltsin’s presidency, economic and social chaos in Russia, and the battle between Yeltsin and his political opponents (120 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 out of print. Be aware of that PBS has created a very fine website to provide additional material on this subject.

Media Type: Media

Gorbachev (1997)

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Recommended because this is a biography of the last Soviet leader, from the A&E “Biography” series. Gorbachev’s drastic reforms led to the end of his nation as the world knew it. But ultimately, he was undone by his own success. Mikhail Gorbachev is one of the most compelling figures of the 20th century. The son of a mechanic from the Kuban, his vision to change his nation was shaped by his childhood experiences under Stalin’s rule. Biography interviewed the former Soviet President at length for this historic program. In it, Gorbachev recounts how he rose through the party ranks without betraying his radical visions for the future. Once in power, however, the changes were swift and sweeping. Extensive footage chronicles the turbulent years of his rule, from the first stirrings of Glasnost to the unsuccessful coup attempt that marked the last gasp of the old, hard-line leadership. And Soviet historians and political experts detail his world-changing legacy (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); available from Amazon.com for $19.95.

Media Type: Media

Harvest of Despair (1984)

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Recommended because this is a documentary (in English) about the Ukrainian “terror famine” of 19East Asia-1933 which caused the deaths of perhaps seven million or more people. Using interviews with survivors and as well as scholars, in addition to rare photographic evidence, the film argues that the famine was deliberately created by the Soviet Government as part of Stalin’s decade-long effort to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry, which resisted forced collectivization of its farmland (black & white, 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); available from Facets Multimedia for $19.95.

Media Type: Media

History of Modern Russia

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is a website containing the lectures, maps, exams of the Russian history course taught by Gerhard Rempel at Western New England College. Materials in this website include forty-eight well-written and thoughtful lectures in all, each one on a separate page, from earliest times to the Gorbachev era. The lectures are indexed by subject and follow in chronological order. The only thing missing are lectures on the collapse of Communism in Russia (1991) and Russia in the Yetsin and Putin eras (i.e, the last ten or twelve years of Russian history).

I, Orhan Veli: Poems (1989)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is a selection of some of Orhan Veli’s most popular poems translated into English. Known as the writer who introduced everyday Turkish language into poetry, Orhan Veli is one of Turkey’s most translated authors. His poetry and prose can be found in German, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, and in many other languages. He is one of Turkey’s most well known modern literary figures. This book serves as an excellent sampling of his work. His poems are a good addition to any middle and high school poetry or literature classroom. Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 05/2002.

Citation: Veli, Orhan.

Media Type: Book

Igor Stravinsky

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this website provides a brief but thoughtful biography the Russian composer who was the father of Modernism in classical music and who created “The Rite of Spring” in 1913. Be aware of the fact that this biography is part of Time magazine’s “100 Most Important People of the Twentieth Century” website.

Imperial Russia: A Source Book, 1700-1917

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended as an excellent collection of historical sources to complement narrative historical accounts. Includes government decrees, treaties, letters, memoirs, extracts from literature, etc. Availability: apparently out of print, but used books can still be obtained from Amazon.com for varying prices. Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: Basil Dmytryshyn, Editor (3rd ed., 1990)

Media Type: Book

Inside Russia (1941)

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Recommended because this is a complete survey of Russia prior to World War II (in English). The following locations and activities are shown: strange mountain tribes and customs of the Urals; ancient and modern customs in Tiflis; the oil fields of Baku; American machinery in Russian coal mines; the site of the Garden of Eden on the Black Sea; unveiling of Oriental women in Southern Russia; the Crimea and coast resorts of the Black Sea; the Yalta palaces of the Czar and of Grand Duke Dimitri; Karlov, Metropolis of the Ukraine; the Dnieper River Dam and Power Project; the city and peoples of Moscow; Russian sculpture, art theaters and native dances; the Kremlin, the Tomb of Lenin and Red Square; mass training of children at the home of Maxim Gorky; the home of Tolstoy; Gorky, the Detroit of Russia, with its iron and steel industries, the Tartar Republic; the Volga River; Stalingrad; the German Soviet Republic (400,000 German Russians); collective farming on the steppes (largest farm: 500,000 acres); diverse nationalities in Southern Russia (Georgians, Persians, Armenians, Turks) (B&W, 75 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University 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); available from Facets Multimedia for $49.94.

Media Type: Media

Jomo Kenyatta

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Recommended because this book is part of a biographical series, World Leaders Past and Present. It is a balanced and insightful presentation of the career, struggle, and eventual success of an important African leader, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya. It attempts to deal with Kenyatta’s life in relation to his role as a national and international statesman in the political development of Kenya. It portrays sympathetically his life against the background of colonial rule, tracing the development of the country from the early 1900s to the time of independence and beyond. Kikuyu cultural life is interwoven in the biographical account, thus enriching the work. The text is punctuated with numerous photographs and quotations from Kenyatta as well as others. The author could have avoided the use of the words “native” and “tribe” to describe indigenous Africans and ethnic groupings. Otherwise this is a very readable and educational account of the life of one of Africa’s most significant modern figures.

Citation: Wepman, Dennis, (1985) Chelsea House.

Media Type: Book

Karl Marx and Marxism

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Recommended because the impact of Marx on the 20th century has been all-pervasive and worldwide, costing tens of millions of lives where Communism was imposed, resulting in brutal wars to contain or expand it, and vastly improving the lives of workers where fear of Communism resulted in social reform. This program looks at the man, at the roots of his philosophy, at the causes and explanations of his philosophical development, and at its most direct outcome: the failed Soviet Union (52 minutes). Available by free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic & East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu), apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Khrushchev : A Political Life

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Recommended because Recommended as a recent and comprehensive biography of the controversial Soviet leader. An even more recent biography of Khrushchev (and one based more on archival revelations) is William Taubman’s Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (2003).

Citation: William J. Tompson (1997)

Media Type: Book

Kolyma (1997)

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Recommended because this is a documentary about the Kolyma forced-labor camp in the Soviet Union’s Far East. In operation from the early 1930s until the 1970s, this camp was the scene of gold mining by political prisoners as well as common criminals. This documentary uses interviews with Kolyma survivors as well as archival film footage to describe the terrible conditions the camp inmates labored under (45 minutes). In Russian with an English voice-over narration. 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); available from Amazon.com for $9.98.

Media Type: Media

LANIC

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because LANIC stands for the Latin American Network Information Center, and is an incredible clearinghouse of information. The maps page supplies regional overviews and country maps. This is a VERY large site, however its alphabetized listing make it easy to use. Updated by Sara Adducchio 2012.

Lenin and the Bolsheviks (1980)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this video consists of two Soviet documentary films (with English narration) on Lenin and the Russian communist revolutionary movement. The first film, “Lenin: Seven Years in Switzerland” traces Lenin’s time spent in Switzerland prior to 1917. From the official Soviet point of view, Lenin’s activities are described in glowing detail. Much of the footage shows where Lenin worked and lived (31 minutes). The second film, “October Days” chronicles the background to and outbreak of the communist revolution in Russia in 1917. Emphasis is on Lenin’s crucial role and wise leadership in the overthrow of the old order(30 min). Excellent film for giving students the official Soviet perspective on the “Great October Socialist Revolution” as well as to show how Lenin’s position in the revolution is elevated to that of a virtual deity. From the series “Inside the Soviet Union.” 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); available from Amazon.com for $19.98.

Media Type: Media

Lenin, Vladimir: Voice of Revolution (1998)

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Recommended because this is a documentary from the Arts and Entertainment Channel “Biography International” series. Called treacherous, deluded, out-of-touch, insane, Lenin might have been a minor historical footnote but for the Russian Revolution which catapulted him into the headlines of the century. Newly opened, formerly secret Soviet files, reveal a clearer picture of the fanatical philosopher. Narrated by Peter Graves, with commentary by historians Nina Tumarkin, Robert Daniels, Arch Getty, and Robert Conquest (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); available from Save2Much.com for $19.95.

Media Type: Media

Lenin: A Biography

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Recommended because Recommended as probably the best single-volume biography of the founder of the Soviet State, thoroughly up to date and remarkably balanced. Available from Amazon.com for $38.95.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: Robert Service (2000)

Media Type: Book

Library of Congress Soviet Archives Exhibit

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this online exhibit does a good job of discussing the major periods and issues in Soviet history and matches them with state documents recently declassified from the former Soviet archives. The exhibit is divided into two broad areas: “Internal Workings of the Soviet System” and “The Soviet Union and the United States.” The exhibit covers the entire period of Soviet history, from 1817 to 1991. Start by reading the “How to Use This Exhibit” section on the archive homepage. Be aware of the judgement that the archive’s declassified documents, while interesting and important, can hardly be considered sensational.

Long Road to Freedom: Russia and Glasnost (1989)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is a C-SPAN interview with the author of the book, The Long Road to Freedom: Russia and Glasnost, which takes a look at Soviet history. It was the hope of author Professor Walter Laquer that this work would help people better understand glasnost and Soviet politics under Gorbachev. To do this, Professor Laquer examines the Soviet Union all the way back to the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. Laquer discusses the historical roots that make up the Russian character and he analyzes the development of Soviet culture. He particularly addresses the role of individual Soviet leaders like Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev (61 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University 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 out of print.

Media Type: Media

Maps of Russia and former Soviet Union

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because of its excellent selection of maps on regions and cities. Be aware of the fact that they may require some adaptation for printing. Materials include dozens of maps of the Former Soviet Union as well separate maps of the now independent former Soviet states. Some maps are organized by population, natural resource, physical features and many other subjects. Please notice at the bottom of the page there are links to other maps of the region. Produced by the University of Texas. Originally reviewed by Tim Cave.

Medieval Russia: A Source Book, 900-1700

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended as an excellent collection of historical sources to complement narrative historical accounts. Includes the Russian Primary Chronicles, government decrees, treaties, letters, memoirs, extracts from literature, etc. Availability: out of print. Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: Basil Dmytryshyn (Editor) (3rd ed., 1990)

Media Type: Book

Medieval Russian Architecture from Twelfth Century Vladimir to the Reign of Ivan the Terrible (1997)

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Recommended because world renowned expert on Russian architecture, William Brumfield, Professor of Russian Studies, Tulane University, lectures on the architectural background and various influences leading to the design and construction of the Cathedral of Vassili the Blessed on Red Square in Moscow (better known as St. Basil’s). The slides presented were taken by William Brumfield (108 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). Not available commercially.

Media Type: Media

Mikhail Gorbachev

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this website provides a brief but thoughtful biography of the last Soviet leader, the father of Glasnost and Perestroika who ruled the USSR from 1985 until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Noted Russian author Tatyana Tolstaya wrote this biography and gives it a decidedly Russian perspective. Be aware of the fact that this biography is part of Time magazine’s 100 Most Important People of the Twentieth Century website.

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

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

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

National Geographic Map Machine

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is probably the best single source for maps of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Start by going to the Country Profiles section which provides basic facts on every country in the world as well as several excellent map options for each country. Be aware of the fact that one can zoom in or out on any world region in the satellite map section. In the very convenient “Printer Friendly Maps” section all countries of the region (and the world) are represented with very good black and white maps. Finally, all of the very fine world and regional National Geographic maps are available for purchase online.

Nicholas the Cop

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Recommended because this lecture acquaints the reader with the reign of Tsar Nicholas I (ruled 1825-1855), which was characterized by repression and censorship. Though Nicholas lavished the Russian military with funding and personal support, Russia’s defeat in the Crimean War (1854-1856) at the end of his reign proved that his reactionary policies were bankrupt and set the stage for the reforms to come under Alexander II, Nicholas I’s son and successor. Be aware of the fact that this lecture is by Professor Gerhard Rempel of Western New England College and is part of his Russian history course.

Peter the Great (1985)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is a good, English-language film biography of Peter. It was based on Robert Massey’s biography, and shot on location in Russia. Starring Maximillian Schell and Hanna Schygulla, with Vanessa Redgrave, Omar Sharif, Trevor Howard, and Laurence Olivier (380 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 out of print.

Media Type: Media

Peter the Great: His Life and World

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Recommended because Recommended as not the most authoritative, but rather the most popular biography in English. It has the advantage of being very readable and brings the colorful Peter quite vividly to life. Availability: may be purchased in paperback from Amazon.com for $12.57.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: Robert K. Massie (1980)

Media Type: Book

Population, Resources and the Environment: The Critical Challenges. (1991).

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Recommended because this book describes intricate inter-relationships between population, resources and the environment and attempts to deal with these issues in a comprehensive manner. Topics and materials included in this book are the impacts of population, seven case studies on population, policy response to population issues, key statements and resolutions on population and environment, and selected population characteristics. Start by the chapter 2 “Population Impacts on Environment, Natural Resources and Quality of Life” since this chapter discusses how population issues affect other global issues such as global warming, water shortage, and wastes and pollution. Reviewed by Masataka Kasai, 5/13/04.

Citation: United Nations Population Fund. London, UK: A Banson production.

Media Type: Book

Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1997)

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Recommended because this is the A&E channel biography of Grigory Rasputin, notorious confidant to the Empress Alexandra in the last years of the Romanov dynasty leading up to the Revolution of 1917. The official description of this program is “He was called a lustful mad monk who preached the word of God but practiced every form of evil. Accused of hypnotizing the tsar and seducing the tsarina, the truth about Rasputin is even stranger and more moving that the legend of the Satanic monk” (55 minutes). Available by free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic & East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu) apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Red Empire (1990)

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Recommended because this is a fine seven-part history of the Soviet Union which combines documentary film footage and interviews with participants in important historical events. Introduced by Robert Conquest with Geoffrey Hosking as historical consultant. Each film is about 54 minutes long. Produced in the United Kingdom. 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 out of print.

Volume I: Revolutionaries. Russia to the October Revolution in 1917

Volume II: Winners & Losers. The Civil War to Lenin’s Death in 1924

Volume III: Class Warriors. Collectivization and Industrialization

Volume IV: Enemies of the People. Great Purges of the late 1930s

Volume V: Patriots. The Soviet-Nazi War, 1941-45

Volume VI: Survivors. From 1945 through the Khrushchev Era

Volume VII: Prisoners of the Past. From Brezhnev to Gorbachev

Media Type: Media

Red Files

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because it is based on a multi-part PBS documentary of the same name, and the Red Files website is an interesting and entertaining source of information on four areas of Soviet history: the KGB, Soviet Propaganda, the secret Soviet moon project, and the Soviet sports industry. Materials included with each subject are a full transcript of the documentary, accompanied by photographs, and interviews with historians and historical actors. Start by choosing one of the four areas listed at the top of the screen. Be aware of the fact that this website does not have lots of “bells and whistles,” but is chock full of relevant historical content.

Resurrection: The Struggle for a New Russia

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended as one of the best books to help describe the strange, hybrid society that has emerged in Russia in the post-Soviet era. The author, by the way, won a Pulitzer Prize for earlier writing on Russia (Lenin’s Tomb). Available from Amazon.com for $10.50.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: David Remnick (1997)

Media Type: Book

Return of the Czar (2000)

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Recommended because this is a documentary on post-Soviet Russia from the series “Frontline.” Almost a decade after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia is arguably more free than at any time in its history. But while the West has applauded the market reforms of former President Boris Yeltsin, in Russia there has been collapse. Today, as the country is being militarized, anti-Western propaganda is increasing. In pushing its ideas of reform, did the U.S. turn a blind eye to Kremlin illegality and compromise the moral authority America cultivated throughout the Cold War? As career KGB officer Vladimir Putin-Yeltsin’s anointed successor-is set to ascend to Russia’s presidency, Frontline takes an in-depth look at what Russia has become and why. Original air date, May 9, 2000 (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); apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Return of the Czar: Examining the Failures of US Policy and Yeltsin’s Leadership During Russia’s Tumultuous Post-Soviet Transformation

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this very good website provides critical analysis of Russia in the 1990s. It gives very detailed critiques, both from the Russian and US perspectives, of how the Yeltsin government failed to guide Russia’s difficult transition from Communism to liberal democracy in the 1990s. Start by reading the Synopsis to get a good overview. Be aware of the fact that there is a Frontline video (with the same name) as a complement to this website.

Road to Revolution: A Century of Russian Radicalism

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended as a classic narrative of the development of Russian revolutionary movements, starting in the late 18th century and culminating with the failure of the non-Marxists in the late 19th century. As such it does not deal with the Bolsheviks or the Russian revolutionary movement after 1890. Availability: may be purchased from Amazon.com for $18.95.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: Avrahm Yarmolinsky (1956)

Media Type: Book

Russia’s War: Blood Upon the Snow

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Recommended because it helps bring to life the story of the Soviet Union during World War II. A drama of desperate battles and the tremendous fortitude of the Soviet people. Hosted by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, this 10-hour program features never-before-seen Russian images, once-secret documents, and leading Russian historians to explore Russia from 1924 through 1953. 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).

Volume One: The Darkness Descends

Lenin dies and leaves behind a power struggle for the leadership of the Soviet empire. He also leaves a testament – a fatal warning against Stalin’s ambition. Nevertheless, Stalin rises to power and begins his war against the Soviet people: an assault on the peasantry and mysterious assassination of political rivals, and on the the eve of the war with Germany, his disasterous purge of the Red Army. (60 min).

The Hour Before Midnight

Hitler becomes ever more aggressive. In Spain, Fascism and Communism face each other for the first time, while the purges in the Soviet Union reach a crescendo. In foreign affairs, Stalin plans the most astounding about-face of the century. Hitler and Stalin become allies, leading to the invasion and partition of Poland (60 minutes).
Volume Two, Part One: The Goths Ride East

The Germans invade the Soviet Union, leading to chaos and confusion as the Red Army falls back. Stalin, paralyzed by the shock, retreats to his dacha. Minsk, Kiev and Smolensk fall. Stalin returns from hiding and signs the infamous Order 270, branding captured Soviet officers as traitors and committing their wives to forced labor. With the first snows, the Wehrmacht arrives at the gates of Moscow (60 min).

Volume Two, Part Two:Between Life and DeathThe Wehrmacht thrusts south towards the oil fields of the Caucasus. On pain of death, Stalin specifically prohibits any retreat on the battlefield. The formation of the infamous Penal Batallions starts and the battle for Stalingrad begins (60 minutes).

Volume Three, Part One:The Fight From Within

During the war in the occupied Soviet Union, many oppressed Soviet citizens welcome Hitler, but their enthusiasm is short-lived as his plans are revealed. The Partisan resistance begins without Stalin’s support. Then as he begins to accept the Partisans, he provides them with supplies (60 min).

Volume Four, Part One: The Citadel

During the spring stalemate, all eyes turn to Kursk. Soviet war production, now moved out of the reach of German bombers, increases dramatically. The Germans prepare to meet the Red Army on the plains of Kursk. This is the greatest tank battle in the history of warfare (60 min).

Volume Four, Part Two: 0 Dawn

1944 is the year of victories. After a 900-day siege, Leningrad is finally liberated. The Red Army pushes westward and begins to retake the territories occupied by the Germans for so long. Once again, Stalin has plans for the people who suffer under the occupation (60 minutes).

Volume Five, Part One: The Fall of the Swastika

Germany is now on the brink of defeat. As the Red Army approaches Berlin, Hitler mobilizes both young and old to defend the doomed city. With the fall of Berlin and the death of his old enemy, Stalin turns once again to the control of his own people (60 min).

Volume Five, Part Two: The Cult of Personality

Stalin is praised by his people for the victory he alone claims. As old age creeps up on him, Stalin’s obsessive paranoia continues the persecution of this people. His plans for territorial expansion are blocked by the threat of the atomic bomb. The Cold War prevails. In 1953, Stalin dies (60 minutes).

Media Type: Media

Russian Chronology: 1904-1914

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is terrific source to learn about the course of events that led to Russian Revolution of 1917

Russian History and Culture

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Recommended because this is a good source of teacher-oriented materials on Russian History and culture, including lesson plans, books, videos, and CDs. Start by clicking on section of this website that is most of interest to you. The sections are: Teaching Plans and Manuals; Films; Computer Resources; Music; Books;
Children’s Literature; Directories; Periodicals; Reports
Embassy Information; and Checkout Information. Be aware of the fact that teachers may borrow all these materials from the University of Washington. Originally reviewed by Tim Cave.

Russian History Catalog

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Recommended because this Russian language-only site is extensive, and quite easy to navigate through. Start by learning Russian if you do not already know that difficult language! Be aware of the fact that the site is also good for research for theses and dissertations. Originally reviewed by Tim Cave.

Russian History Primary Sources Designed for Teachers

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Recommended because this site is chock full of documentary sources for specific periods in Russian History. There are twenty-one sources in all, ranging from 1671 to the 1930s. Be aware of the fact that this website would be especially valuable to teachers of Advanced Placement or honors history courses. Produced by the Russian Studies program at Seton Hall University. Originally reviewed by Tim Cave.

Russian Print Materials

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Recommended because it has an annotated catalogue of books, videos, and other resources on Eastern European history, literature, and other subjects. It is delineated in age appropriate categories. This would be an excellent source for Language Arts teachers and history teachers. Start by choosing the grade range that you are most interested in, as the materials are segregated into three sections according to the grade levels that they are considered most appropriate for: K-4 grades, 5-8 grades, 9-12 grades. Be aware of the fact that history materials can best be located in the 5-8 grader as well as the 9-12 grader sections. Maintained by the University of Illinois, from which all these materials can be borrowed. Originally reviewed by Tim Cave

Russian Rebels, 1600-1800

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended for those interested in the Russian revolutionary movement, as this well-written book describes the four great rebellions (including the Pugachev uprising) which threatened the Russian state in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Availability: may be purchased in paperback from Amazon.com for $14.95.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: Paul Avrich (1972)

Media Type: Book

Russian Revolution of 1917

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is a good lecture by Russian historian Philip E. Mosley, part of the Dr. E’s Social Science Webzine website. The lecture is a cogent, concise account of the revolutionary events that led to the creation of the first communist state. Be aware of the fact that this is a “low tech” site, however, as there are no illustrations or hyperlinks.

Sputnik: The Times Looks Back

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Recommended because this New York Times created site focuses on the opening of the space race between the US and USSR with the launching of the first artificial satellite by the Soviet Union in October 1957. Uses NYT articles for source material. Be aware of the fact that there are lots of good hyperlinks embedded in the text of the website, including an audio recording of the famous beeping sound transmitted from space by Sputnik.

Starving the Peasants

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Recommended because of its cogent explanation of how Russia’s industrialization in the late Nineteenth century was achieved at the cost of the peasantry. It is interesting how a parallel could be drawn with Stalin’s industrialization scheme fifty years later. Start by reading the “In Brief” section to the right of the screen–it gives a good overview of the article. Be aware of the fact that this material is part of the History House website.

Teaching World History: A Resource Book. (1997).

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because it provides lesson plans and ideas that focus on cross-cultural exchange, global themes, and comparative analyses in order to teach historical thinking and inquiry. The book is divided into three parts: Part 1 explores approaches to teaching world history and provides world history curricular models; Part 2 explores world history topics and issues (i.e., gender, religion, art, environment, civilizations, political systems, literature, trade, technology, philosophy, etc.); Part 3 provides strategies and lessons for elementary through graduate-level students.

Citation: Roupp, Heidi (editor). Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharp.

Media Type: Book

The Age of Totalitarianism: Stalin and Hitler

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this lecture does an admirable job of putting the rule of Stalin into the context of 20th century history as well as the history of Western Civilization. Start by reading the critical poem of Josef Stalin by Russian poet Osip Mandelshtam. The writing of this poem alone sufficed to bring about Mandelshtam’s arrest and death in a forced labor camp–powerful testimony to the extent of brutal repression in the Soviet Union under Stalin. Be aware of the fact that this lecture is full of useful and wide-ranging hyperlinks that complement the text. Part of the History Guide, by Steven Kreis.

The Alexander Palace Time Machine

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Recommended because it is probably the single best source of information on the history and life of the Russian royal family (the Romanovs) from 1800 to the overthrow of the Russian monarchy in 1917. The Alexander Palace was one of many residences of the Russian royal family. This website is extensive, very well organized, and has an elegant beauty to accompany its informative nature. Start by scrolling down to the Palace Tour section of the site where you can take a virtual stroll through the imperial residence of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. Be aware of the fact that this website has many other sections in addition to the virtual tour of the Alexander Palace.

The Balkans and Turkey

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Recommended because of its many great links, both general and specific. The Balkan states (the former Yugoslav nations, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania) are grouped with Turkey because the former were for centuries part of the Ottoman Empire. Start by choosing one of the many topics in this website including: “Biography of Suleyman the Magnificent,” “Armenian Genocide,” “Chronology of Balkan History,” and “Dracula–The Real Story,” among several others. Be aware of the fact that this website has a search feature. Part of the History Net website.

The Chairman Smiles: Soviet Posters

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Recommended because this site materials include thirty-three Soviet propaganda posters from 1919 to 1938, each of which contains full translations of their texts and other explanatory material. Terrific for showing how art was used by the Soviet government to support its policies. In color. Start by reading the introductory material on Soviet posters before looking at the individual posters. Note that each poster thumbnail can be clicked on to get a large view of the poster along with a brief description and explanation. Be aware of the fact that this site is part of a larger collection of Communist posters from China, the Soviet Union, and Cuba. Also, notice that one can access covers of early Soviet childrens’ books from a link at the lower left side of the screen.

The Death of Rasputin

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Recommended because of its accurate portrayal of how Rasputin was murdered (with great difficulty) in late 1916, a subject that students often find very interesting. Not true, however, are claims that Rasputin was the Empress Alexandra’s lover. The Empress trusted Rasputin and was very close to him precisely because he seemed to be the only person who could stop her hemophiliac son’s occasional bleeding. Because of his dishonorable and disgusting conduct, Rasputin’s association with the royal family helped discredit the Tsar Nicholas II and his wife in the eyes of the public and ultimately led to the overthrow of the monarchy in 1917. Be aware of the fact that this article is part of the larger History House website.

The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union: Forty Years that Shook the World From Stalin to Yeltsin

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended as a comprehensive, yet not overly long account of how the Communist superpower Soviet empire collapsed in peacetime. The author is a journalist who reported from Moscow for more than thirty years. Available from Amazon.com for $19.95.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: Fred Coleman (1996)

Media Type: Book

The Eastern Front: A World War One Summary

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because although this site was designed for war gamers not educators, it is a good introduction to Russia’s noble but doomed role in the First World War. Be aware of the fact that historical narrative is embellished with very good campaign maps of the Eastern Front. A few photographs of Russian soldiers and their Austrian and German enemies follow the text.

The Empire that Was Russia: The Prokudin-Gorskii Photgraphic Record Recreated

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Recommended because this is a stunning collection of photographs taken in Russia a century ago that bring pre-revolutionary Russia back to life. Materials include dozens of photographs of Russian architecture, transportation, people at work, and ethnic groups. The pictures were taken all over the Russian Empire, so they show well how very diverse Russia was (and is). Start by clicking on one of the four main sections of photographs: Architecture, Ethnic Diversity, Transportation, or People at Work. Be aware of the fact that the photos are all the more remarkable and realistic because they have been “colorized” making them look as if they had been taken yesterday. Also, note that there is a Russian language version of this site. Produced by the Library of Congress.

The First Russian Revolution, 1825

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended as an account of the failed, but nevertheless very important Decembrist Uprising in 1825. Availability: apparently out of print, but used books can still be obtained from Amazon.com for varying prices.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: Anatole G. Mazour (1937)

Media Type: Book

The Gorbachev Factor

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Recommended because Recommended because Professor Brown manages to write a biography of the last Soviet leader that is both objective and sympathetic–and one that was written long enough after the fall of the Soviet Union (about five years) that it has the historical perspective that the earlier Gorbachev biographies lack. Available from Amazon.com for $19.95.

Citation: Archie Brown (1996)

Media Type: Book

The History Net

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this website is a comprehensive guide to Internet-based sources of history on all world regions. Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union are well represented. Start by clicking on the Europe section, you will find separate subdivisions on Austria-Hungary, the Balkans and Turkey, and Russia and Poland. Be aware of the fact that if you choose the “20th Century” section, you will find links to the Berlin Wall, the Cold War, Communism, the Holocaust, the Russian Revolution, Joseph Stalin, and others. An excellent website.

The History Net: Russian History

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Recommended because this is a great place to start research on Russian history. Start by choosing one of the topics included in this site: General Histories and Timelines, The Romanovs, Nineteenth Century Russia, Reforming Russia, and Revolutionary and Communist Russia.

The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended as a sympathetic Russian perspective on Nicholas II written by a Russian playwright who had access to valuable unpublished private and archival documents. Availability: may be purchased from Amazon.com for $11.87.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: Edvard Radzinsky (1992)

Media Type: Book

The Origins of Autocracy: Ivan the Terrible in Russian History

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Recommended because Recommended as a controversial but well reasoned assessment of Ivan IV

Citation: Alexander Yanov (1981)

Media Type: Book

The Purges (1936-39)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this lecture covers the origins and implementation of the “Great Terror” unleashed by Soviet leader Josef Stalin against much of Soviet society in the late 1930s. It was precisely at this time that the “revolution devoured its own children” just as had occurred under Robespierre during the French Revolution a century and a half earlier. Be aware of the fact that this lecture is by Professor Gerhard Rempel of Western New England College and is part of his Russian history course.

The Riches of the Russian Empire (1997)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is a fine documentary (in English) on the famed Hermitage art Museum of St. Petersburg, Russia, and its treasures. Much of the film is a history of the construction of the city of St. Petersburg and the Winter Palace, so it provides a good introduction to Russian history from Peter the Great to Catherine the Great. Very well done with an emphasis on the exotic and valuable treasures found in the Hermitage (56 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). Also may be purchased from Amazon.com for $19.95

Media Type: Media

The Rise and Fall of Nikita Khrushchev

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because These two lectures show how Khrushchev’s rise to power was accompanied by spectacular successes in consumer goods production and the space race, while his fall was the result of his “hare-brained” schemes and constant reorganization of the Communist party structure. Once you have read about the Rise of Khrushchev, click here for the lecture on the Fall of Khrushchev. Be aware of the fact that these lectures are by Professor Gerhard Rempel of Western New England College and is part of his Russian history course.

The Romanovs (1997)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is a History Channel documentary, part of the “In Search of History” series. For three centuries, the Romanov family ruled imperial Russia. This film explores the dynasty’s long life and examines the societal changes that sealed the fate of Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and their children (55 minutes). Available by free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic & East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu), but apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

The Routledge Atlas of Russian History.

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Recommended because the author clearly presents the complex history of Russia over 2,000 years in this series of 161 maps. Topics include, in addition to the wars and expansion of Russia, other less noticed details of Russian history, from famine and anarchism to the growth of naval strength and foreign relations. A fine work.

Citation: Gilbert, Martin. Routledge, 208 pages; 3rd edition (September 2002)

Media Type: Book

The Russian Civil War

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because though the Bolsheviks took power in late 1917, it was far from clear that they could hold onto it for long. The Russian Civil War (1918-20) is significant in that the Bolshevik victory extended the power of the new communist government from a few major cities into the countryside and to the farthest reaches of Soviet Russia. This lecture by Gerhard Rempel of Western New England College is recommended because it helps explain how the Bolsheviks prevailed. Be aware of that Professor Rempel has a History of Modern Russia homepage which contains not only all his lectures, but exams, quizzes, maps, and other materials as well.

The Russian Revolution

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended as an old, but arguably still the best account in English of the sequence of events that led to the Bolshevik takeover in Russia in 1917. Availability: apparently out of print. Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: William Chamberlain (1935)

Media Type: Book

The Russian Revolution: 1917

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this series of two lectures covering the Russian Revolution is exceptionally well-written and thoughtful. It is part of The History Guide, compiled by historian Steven Kreis. The lectures are illustrated and hyperlinked. Start by reading the text on the Russian Revolution. Should you be interested in other lectures by the same author, or in the commentary and resources he has provided on the general subject of history, then go to his History Guide website. Be aware of the fact that the author has a separate page dedicated to resources relating to the Russian Revolution.

The Russo-Finnish (Winter) War, 1939-40

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Recommended because this is a light-hearted look at a very serious, but neglected subject. The USSR’s difficulty in defeating Finland probably accounts for the continued independence of Finland after World War Two, despite the fact that the Finns sided with the Germans against the Soviet Union. Start by reading the “In Brief” section at the upper right to get a summary of the article. Be aware of the links to two quality monographs on the Russo-Finnish war. A production of History House.

The Russo-Japanese War, 1904-05

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Recommended because despite its irreverent approach to the subject, this site gives the reader a graphic and accurate account of Russia’s catastrophic military failure in its war with Japan, especially its tragic-comic dispatch of its Baltic fleet halfway around the world to fight the Japanese fleet in its own waters. Be aware of the fact that the war was significant not only for the humiliation it caused Russia and the fact that it led to the ultimately failed Revolution of 1905, the war was also the first example in modern history where a European power was defeated by a non-European country. A production of History House.

The Soviet Experiment: Russia, the USSR, and the Successor States

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended as a recent and balanced perspective on Soviet history by a highly-respective Soviet history specialist. It has the added advantage of covering well the non-ethnic regions of the USSR. Available from Amazon.com for $45.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: Ronald Grigor Suny (1998)

Media Type: Book

Time Magazine’s 100 Most Important People of the Twentieth Century

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because seven of the 100 are East Europeans: V.I. Lenin, Igor Stravinsky, Andrei Sakharov, Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul II, Lech Walesa, Pope John Paul II, and Mikhail Gorbachev. Each man is separately profiled in an essay written by a highly qualified author (for example, Pulitzer Prize winner David Remnick penned Lenin’s biography). Start by clicking on one of the several categories that the top 100 figures are divided into. For example, leaders and revolutionaries includes Lenin, Gorbachev, and Walesa. Be aware of the fact that each biography contains links to historic Time magazine articles about the subject, but unfortunately the articles can only be read by Time magazine subscribers, unless the reader is willing to purchase the article for $2.50.

Treasures of the Czars

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Recommended because this exhibit features high quality photographs of precious Russian national treasures that earlier belonged to the Romanovs, the Russian ruling family. Start by clicking on Museum Tour which takes you on a guided tour of the exhibition. More importantly, in the process of showing the viewer icons, crowns, jewels, armor, and other items belonging to Russia’s rulers, one gains a great deal of insight into Russian history and culture. Be aware of the fact that in the Playground of the Czars section the viewer is introduced to the Russian language, learns fun facts about Russian rulers (for example, that Peter the Great was nearly seven feet tall), as well as interesting information about the Russian church and Russian culture. A wonderful website.

Tsar Alexander the First

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is a biography of the Russian tsar from the History Channel series, “The History Makers.” The intelligent, but vain, Alexander I became emperor of Russia after his father’s murder in 1801. During the Napoleonic wars, Russian endured the invasion of 1812, then played a major role in defeating the French, securing Alexander’s place in history (55 minutes). Available by free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic & East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu; apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Unheard Voices: Celebrating Cultures of the Developing World: A Guide for Introducing Global Education to the Classroom. (1994).

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Recommended because it contains activities based on the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Wisconsin, Madison international calendar project. The guide (and video) provide country maps, background information, audiovisual and holiday focus, interdisciplinary activities. Countries represented are Tunisia, Kenya, Somalia, Brazil, India, Tonga, Guatemala, Liberia, Honduras, Peru, Colombia, and Nepal.

Citation: Westbrook, Nancy A. Madison, WI: Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Wisconsin.

Media Type: Book

Urban Revolutionaries Dismayed by Village Life in Late 19th Century Russia

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this website deals with the inability of urban revolutionaries to mobilize peasants to support their plans to overthrow the autocratic Russian government. Instead of finding willing allies in the villages, the revolutionaries were met with indifference, even hostility. Some measure of the terrible, dark nature of peasant life is given in this brief account. Produced by History House. Start by reading the “In Brief” section at the right side of the screen for an overview of the article. Be aware of the fact that despite its irreverent nature, this article is well written and researched.

V.I. Lenin

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Recommended because this website provides a brief but thoughtful biography of the founder of the Soviet state, who ruled the USSR from 1917 to his death in 1924. Pulitizer Prize winner David Remnick (author of “Lenin’s Tomb”) wrote this biography. Be aware of the fact that this biography is part of Time magazine’s 100 Most Important People of the Twentieth Century website.

When Titans Clashed : How the Red Army Stopped Hitler

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended because this account of the Nazi-Soviet War (1941-1945) is perhaps the most authoritative in print today. Written by Western historians who have researched the topic in Russian using recently released archival sources. Available from Amazon.com for $11.24.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: David M. Glantz and Jonathan M. House (1998)

Media Type: Book

Yuri Gagarin: His Life in Pictures

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is a high-quality photograh-laden biography of the first man in space, Soviet citizen and Russian Yuri Gagarin. Be aware of Be aware that even today, Gagarin has true cult-hero status in Russia and much of the former Eastern bloc. So an awareness of his life has both historical and cultural value–all the more so when today many Americans think that John Glenn was the first in space (he wasn’t even the first American!). Part of the Russian Archives Online.