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HIST390 - COMMUNISM IN PRACTICE: CHINA & THE USSR COMPARED
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CLAUDIA COHEN HALL 402
A comprehensive and multi-faceted survey of China and Russia, mostly in the twentieth century, through examining preludes and postludes, but focusing above all on their time as Communist states and sometimes quarreling Cold War allies. Of course we will cover the history, the geography, the economics, the leaders (Stalin, Mao), and the great events - not least the Second World War in each - always comparing, contrasting, and drawing linkages. We will also examine, however, daily life and work for ordinary people, developments in society, and not least their common attemps at revolution, at somehow creating new and unprecedented polities, having populations of radically transformed new people. This informative, fascinating quest will take us from folklore to literature and the arts to dissent and religion and ecology, among other topics. As far as possible we will let their people speak for themselves, by assigning mostly translations of original sources including novels and memoirs, even poetry. A comprehensive assessment of the strategically critical Asian heartland - which at over 14 million square miles is larger than Canada, the United States, and Western Europe combined. Lectures, readings, midterm, short paper, and in-class final.
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