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The Rise and Fall of Soviet Communism: A History of 20th-Century Russia | [The Great Courses]

The Rise and Fall of Soviet Communism: A History of 20th-Century Russia

From the Oval Office to the streets of Moscow, world leaders and ordinary citizens alike share interest and concerns about Russia. Can democracy survive there? What does the future hold for the once expansive and still powerful Russian nation? Is Soviet Communism truly dead? These are the kinds of questions diplomats struggle with every day.
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Publisher's Summary

From the Oval Office to the streets of Moscow, world leaders and ordinary citizens alike share interest and concerns about Russia. Can democracy survive there? What does the future hold for the once expansive and still powerful Russian nation? Is Soviet Communism truly dead?

These are the kinds of questions diplomats struggle with every day. And now, through this series of 16 incisive lectures by an acclaimed scholar of Russian history, you can begin investigating them for yourself as you take a probing historical journey through the recent history and near future of a key world power. Whether your chief interest is Russian or world history, political theory, or international relations, you'll take away fresh knowledge and insight as Professor Hamburg examines the improbable origins of Communist rule in Russia, the ascent of the Red Star to its zenith, and its decline and apparent end in the wake of 1989's events.

Using new material from previously sealed Soviet archives and covering recent controversial findings by both Russian and Western scholars, he begins with the failures of the czarist regime and the horrors of the First World War, then takes you through the bloody era of Josef Stalin's purges and beyond to Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika to offer you a thoroughgoing analysis of the Soviet experiment.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©1996 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1996 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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  •  
    Lance Maryland, United States 11-13-13
    Lance Maryland, United States 11-13-13 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    138
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    123
    31
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great introduction but leaves lots of questions"

    I really enjoyed the professor and the course. It is a very historical overview of the forces that drove acceptance of Soviet communism, an overview of its decline, and some background behind where it may be headed.

    Highly recommended as an introduction to this material.

    Reasons why I dropped a star. I didn't get a sense as to what the people did, who the people were, who the people became as they progressed throughout what was about a 100 year window of Russian history. I get that Communism minimizes individual contributions and thus this is not necessarily noteworthy, but I would have liked to see a more systematic analysis of how the culture of the country changed as the years progressed. Another reason is the course seemed to stop somewhere in the 1990s. Ok, great but I feel like I need to read alot more about Yeltsin and Putin to understand where Russia is today and what its prospects are. The professor I think could have accommodated more discussion about the Russian people and culture but sometimes gets sidetracked on points that were interesting but somewhat academic. Great I know and get that he is a teacher but for an intro course, I'd rather be focused on some key themes and keep the the academic / pedantic stuff to a minimum.

    Loved the course. Really liked the teacher. This is highly recommended for those looking for an introduction to the rise and fall of Soviet Communism. There may be better intros out there but this worked well for me.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Atreides Perth, Australia 12-16-13
    Atreides Perth, Australia 12-16-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Less interesting than it should have been."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The author is obviously very knowledgeable, but the story and performance let it down.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Focus more on the the key parts or turning points in the story of Soviet Russia. It seems like equal time was given to all people and events, and so seemed somewhat monotonous. Certain interesting events (e.g. the Berlin Airlift) are glossed over in a sentence or two.


    What three words best describe Professor Gary Hamburg’s performance?

    Tired, flat, monotonous. Unfortunately, it reminded me of the history professor from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. At some points it sounds like he was almost yawning.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • ben
    EXETER, United Kingdom
    1/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Packed full of relevant and useful information"
    What did you like most about The Rise and Fall of Soviet Communism: A History of 20th-Century Russia?

    The saturation of useful information for either Degree qualifications, A-level and GCSE.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The abdication of the Tsar in March 1917.


    Which character – as performed by Professor Gary Hamburg – was your favourite?

    ...


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It's educational.


    Any additional comments?

    May be a bit to much information for a GCSE student or even an A-level student which I am. I find some parts irrelevant for me or in other words an A-level student. Some of the grammar used may be a bit confusing for anyone under the age of 18 trying to gather knowledge of Russia from 1900-1991.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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