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   Course Title    Stalin`s Russia: Soviet Union in the 1920 - 1930`s
Lecturer    Viatcheslav Menkovski
Institution    Belarusian State University
Country    Belarus


Week  1

Introduction to the Course

  Lecture / 2 hours

Week  2

Soviet Historiography of Stalinism

  Lecture / 2 hours

Week  3

Classical Western Historiography of Stalinism

  Lecture / 2 hours

Week  4

Modern Russian Historiography of Stalinism

  Lecture / 2 hours

Week  5

Modern Western Historiography of Stalinism

  Lecture / 2 hours

Week  6

Administrative - Command System in the USSR

 Seminar / 2 hours

Week  7

Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism

 Seminar / 2 hours

Week  8

Stalinist Economy

 Seminar / 2 hours

Week  9

Stalinist Political System

 Seminar / 2 hours

Week 10

The `Great Terror`

 Seminar / 2 hours

Week 11

The `Cultural revolution `

 Seminar / 2 hours

Week 12

State and Society in the 1930`s

 Seminar / 2 hours

Week 13

                               Final Exam



Course Outline:


Week One. Course and Class Introduction. Discussion of syllabus.

Week Two - Five. Soviet and Western Historiography. Soviet history in the context of world history. History and social theory. Methodology and perspectives of historical thinking. Subject and object in history. Methods of research. Models and paradigms. Interdisciplinary approaches.

Week Six. Administrative - Command System in the USSR. Democracy and liberalism. Administrative - command system. War communism. New economic policy. Stalinist model. Authoritarianism. Totalitarianism. Real socialism. Modernization and backwardness.

 Week Seven. Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism. Marxism and socialist doctrine. Socialist’s and communist’s revisionism. Ideology, intelligentsia, and society. Dilemmas of 1917, 1921 and 1929. Continuity theory. Bolshevism and Stalinism, or Bolshevism versus Stalinism.

Week Eight. Stalinist Economy. Strategies for modernization. The Soviet economic system. The command economy, its nature and logic. The economic institutions of Stalinism. Industrialization. Collectivization. Strengths and weaknesses of the system. Economic performance. The impact of modernization on the political order.

Week Nine. Stalinist Political System. Dictatorship of a class, dictatorship of a party. Vanguard party. Soviet system. Bureaucracy. Freedom and human rights. Attitude to the laws. Formalization of Constitution. Political culture. Stalin as a political institution. The cult of the leader. The basic features of the political system.

Week Ten. The `Great Terror`. Mechanisms and ideology of terror. A legal and theoretical substantiation of a terror. `Enemies of the people`. The exile and camp system. GULAG. NKVD. `Great Purges`. Coercion and society. How many victims? Consequences of terror.

Week Eleven. The `Cultural revolution `. The Soviet science and culture. Education. Ethics of a new society. Elite and mass cultures. Stalinists cultural canon and style. Socialist realism. The attitude to history. Religion. Official atheism.

Week Twelve. State and Society in the in the 1930`s. Mutual relations of the state and society. Class and social structure. Gender. National relations. Everyday life. Role of a belief and fear in the Soviet society. Dominant cultural myths. Place of the 1930`s in the Soviet history in the political, socio- economic, ideological and cultural attitude.

Week Thirteen. Final Exam.


Course requirements:

The seminar will meet once a week.  Students will be expected to attend all lectures and seminars, and discuss the assigned readings. Once during the semester, each student will be asked to write one short analytical essay, 10 - 15 typed pages in length. The week before their presentations, the presenting students should distribute two or three pages of theses to help guide their classmates through the readings for discussion. The essays ought to raise important problems and issues and establish intellectual context for the readings. Students should feel free to consult with the lecturer for advice in preparing theses and essays. Presentations should be about 30 minutes in length.


Required Texts:

Vlast i obschestvo v SSSR: Politika repressii (1920 – 1940 gg.). – M., 1999.

Volkogonov D. A. Stalin: Politicheskii portret. – M., 1996.

Golikov A. G., Kruglova T. A. Istochnikovedenie otechestvennoi istorii. – M., 2000.

GULAG (Glavnoe upravlenie lagerei). 1917 – 1960. – M., 2000.

Istoria i stalinism. – M., 1991.

Lebina N. B. Povsednevnaia zizn sovetskogo goroda: normi i anomalii. 1929 – 1930 gg. – S. Pet., 1999.

Menkovski V. I. Anglo – amerikanskaia sovetologia: Istoria, sovremennost, akademicheskie resursi. – Minsk, 2000.

Obschestvo i vlast. 1930-e godi: Povestvovanie v dokumentah. – M., 1998.

Osokina E. Za fasadom `stalinskogo izobilia`: Raspredelenie i rinok v snabzenii naselenia v godi industrializasii. 1927 – 1941. – M., 1998.

Sovetskaia istoriografia. – M., 1996.

Sokolov A. K. Kurs sovetskoi istorii. 1917 – 1940: Dlia vuzov. – M., 1999.

Stalinskoe politbiuro v 1930-e godi: Sbornik dokumentov. – M., 1995.

Taker R. Stalin u vlasti: Istoria i lichnost. 1928 – 1941. – M., 1997.

Timoshina T. M. Economicheskaia istoria Rossii. Uchebnoe posobie. – M., 1998.

Holms L. Sosialnaia istoria Rossii: 1917 – 1941. – Rostov, 1994.

Hosking D. Istoria Sovetskogo Soiuza. 1917 – 1921. – M., 1995.

All books listed in the required sections of the syllabus are available at the University Library, National Library, and in the History Department Reading Room. In addition, there are sources available on the World Wide Web, videos and computer educational aids (Istoria Rossii: XX vek: Kompiuternii (multimedia) uchebnik. – M., 1997) in the History Department Educational Laboratory.


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