10 — Stalin’s propaganda machine

Study Overview

  1. The state of the USSR in 1924: the power struggle after Lenin’s death, and Stalin’s victory
  2. Economic policies: collectivisation and the Five Year Plans
  3. State control: the purges and the cult of personality
  4. Daily life in Stalin’s USSR
  5. The Soviet experience of WW2, and how it shaped the USSR after the war

Stalin’s Propaganda Machine

In this unit

  1. The reasons for state-controlled thought in the USSR
  2. The methods and results of state-controlled thought in the USSR
Continue reading “10 — Stalin’s propaganda machine”

09 — Stalin’s political policies

Study Overview

  1. The state of the USSR in 1924: the power struggle after Lenin’s death, and Stalin’s victory
  2. Economic policies: collectivisation and the Five Year Plans
  3. State control: the purges and the cult of personality
  4. Daily life in Stalin’s USSR
  5. The Soviet experience of WW2, and how it shaped the USSR after the war

The Purges and Political Control

In this unit

  1. Red Tsar (The reasons for the purges)
  2. Key features of the purges
  3. Results of the purges
Continue reading “09 — Stalin’s political policies”

08 — Stalin’s economic policies pt2

Study Overview

  1. The state of the USSR in 1924: the power struggle after Lenin’s death, and Stalin’s victory
  2. Economic policies: collectivisation and the Five Year Plans
  3. State control: the purges and the cult of personality
  4. Daily life in Stalin’s USSR
  5. The Soviet experience of WW2, and how it shaped the USSR after the war

Agricultural Collectivisation

In this unit

  1. The reasons for pursuing collectivisation
  2. Features of collectivisation
  3. Assessing the successes and failures of collectivisation
Continue reading “08 — Stalin’s economic policies pt2”

07 — Stalin’s economic policies pt 1

Study Overview

  1. The state of the USSR in 1924: the power struggle after Lenin’s death, and Stalin’s victory
  2. Economic policies: collectivisation and the Five Year Plans
  3. State control: the purges and the cult of personality
  4. Daily life in Stalin’s USSR
  5. The Soviet experience of WW2, and how it shaped the USSR after the war

Rapid Industrialisation and the Five Year Plans

In this unit:

  1. Nyet to the NEP, Da to Industrialisation (The reasons for rapid industrialisation)
  2. Building Stalin’s Dream (The processes of rapid industrialisation)
  3. Assessing the Fruits of Industrialisation (successes and failures of rapid industrialisation)
Continue reading “07 — Stalin’s economic policies pt 1”

06 — the rise of Stalin

Study Overview

  1. The state of the USSR in 1924: the power struggle after Lenin’s death, and Stalin’s victory
  2. Economic policies: collectivisation and the Five Year Plans
  3. State control: the purges and the cult of personality
  4. Daily life in Stalin’s USSR
  5. The Soviet experience of WW2, and how it shaped the USSR after the war

The State of the USSR in 1924 and Stalin’s Victory

In this unit:

  1. A Brave New World? (The state of the USSR by 1924)
  2. What’s got the Reds all riled up? (Issues left unresolved after Lenin’s death)
  3. Filling Lenin’s shoes (The contenders for Lenin’s position)
  4. From Arch Mediocrity to Arch Nemesis (Stalin’s victory in the power struggle)
Continue reading “06 — the rise of Stalin”

on glorious things

What is the most glorious thing you have seen?

I, raised on a diet of war stories and mighty deeds of the Greeks and Romans, had nothing to say. The pastor gave a few sample answers he’d heard: the Milky Way on a night sky, dawn rays over a canyon, the megalithic might of a world-class airport after a long-haul flight, the taste of the perfect wagyu stew. Glory, he explained, in the Judeo-Christian tradition is related to weight. Something that matters so much, that demands such attention, respect, and awe, stuns us as glorious.

Continue reading “on glorious things”

on William Wallace’s ghost

William Wallace is one of the great names of Scottish history, quite possibly the country’s George Washington (though unlike Washington he didn’t survive his War of Independence to rule the new country — that would fall to Robert the Bruce). Like Washington, Wallace’s ghost has been periodically called up to support this or that cause. This essay will briefly explore how Wallace’s legacy has been handled and manipulated in the centuries after his death. Continue reading “on William Wallace’s ghost”

on truth and blame

We’re at a delicate moment right now.

Now that the spectre of human extinction has passed – though there may yet be dark days ahead for many countries – we’re approaching the recovery phase, and most sensationally, the planning-who-to-tar-and-feather-for-this-whole-fiasco phase.

Two things we should think about looking ahead:

Disinformation is here to stay. Given that world leaders and state apparatuses at large have been guilty of this for the past five years or so, it’s not surprising at all that the sword of untruth has been wielded these past few months to silence dissent and rally wavering political foundations.

One thing though is now different. Continue reading “on truth and blame”

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