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The quarter century during which Joseph Stalin ruled the Soviet Union witnessed some of the twentieth century’s most dramatic events: history’s fastest plunge into modernity, an apocalyptic world war, and the emergence of a socialist state as a competitive world power. This tutorial will offer students a deep dive not only into the historical depths of the Stalin era but into the gloriously complex historiographical debates that surround it. Some of the questions that will animate the readings, writings, and discussions that tutorial students will engage in are as follows: Did Stalin depart from or represent a continuation of the policies introduced by his predecessor Vladimir Lenin? Did he rule in a totalitarian fashion or in ways comparable to other twentieth century regimes? Were his policies destructive or possibly productive? And perhaps most boggling of all: why did no one resist Stalinist rule?
Format: tutorial; TBD
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Each week, a student either will write a 5-7-page essay on the assigned readings or will be responsible for offering an oral critique of their partner's work. Both tutorial partners will be responsible for completing 150-250 pages of reading each week.
Each student will write five 5-to-7-page papers on which the instructor will provide written feedback regarding grammar, style, and argument. Students will receive from the instructor timely comments on their writing skills, with suggestions for improvement.