Look for the catalog of 2020-21IntroSems to roll out here in August.
Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students
The Soviet Union and the World: Views from the Hoover Archives
This seminar looks at the influence of the Soviet Union and communism on the world from the Revolution of 1917 until 1991. The idea is to encourage you to explore aspects of Soviet influence in Europe, the Americas, and elsewhere around the globe by delving into the rich and unique collections of the Hoover Archives, including original documents, posters, and film clips, available in English or in translation—one of the great collections of materials on the history of communism anywhere. You will be asked to read and evaluate documents relevant to the history of communism in various parts of the world. We will meet with the Hoover archivists on campus, who will be able to navigate you through the archival collections and help you find suitable material for research and for writing up your final papers.
Some of the topics that we will cover during the quarter include: the impact of the Russian Revolution around the world; the dynamics of outside intervention in the revolution; the development of Comintern (Communist International) policies and establishment of communist parties in various countries; the alliance of the Soviet Union with the United States and Great Britain during World War II; the emergence of the Cold War; Soviet activities in the Third World; Euro-communism and the Viet Nam War; détente and nuclear rivalry; propaganda and counterpropaganda; the decline of the Soviet world; Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union; and world leaders. We will conclude with a consideration of how the history of Soviet communism influences the Russia of Vladimir Putin.