The Rise and Fall of the USSR: How a Dream Turned into a Nightmare and Ended as a Farce - D55 31200

D55 31200 12 hours

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In January of 1917 a little known Russian political emigré Vladimir Ulianov was very depressed. He was 46 years old, isolated in neutral Switzerland and without any realistic chances to come to power. His splinter revolutionary party, the Bolsheviks, were banned in Russia, World War One was dragging on and Imperial Russia seemed to be doing okay. That is why when he addressed a group of Swiss socialists he said that he and many people of his age would not live long enough to see the flames of socialist revolution. Had he committed suicide right after this speech, nobody would have ever known about him. 


 He did not. In two months Russian Empire came down like the house of cards. In November of that same year Vladimir Ulianov, better known as Lenin, was Prime Minister of Russia. He presided over a protracted bloodshed of the Civil War and emerged as an undisputed leader of the new country - the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics...


 In December of 1991 the last leader of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, was not even fully in control of his own residence and the threat of electricity being cut seemed all too real...

 Between those two winter days the USSR in many ways defined the history of the twentieth century. Tragic and heroic the history of this country saw incredible enthusiasm and altruism and unimaginable cruelty, heroic deeds and foulest crimes, glorious victories and disastrous defeats...


 In this course Olexandr Shevchenko will go through the story of the Soviet experiment trying to assess its philosophical, political, cultural and economic significance. Special attention will be given to everyday experiences of the most unheralded of all historic actors: rank and file Soviet citizens.

55 Plus Program
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