Readings and Videos

[D] = Daly, Jonathan, and Leonid Trofimov, eds. Russia in War and Revolution, 1914–1922: A Documentary History. Hackett Publishing Company Inc., 2009. ISBN: 9780872209879.

[F] = Fitzpatrick, Sheila. The Russian Revolution. 3rd edition. Oxford University Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780199237678. [Preview with Google Books]

[J] = Jenks, Andrew L. The Cosmonaut Who Couldn’t Stop Smiling: The Life and Legend of Yuri Gagarin. Northern Illinois University Press, 2013. ISBN: 9780875806990.

[L] = Ledeneva, Alena V. How Russia Really Works: The Informal Purchases That Shaped Post-Soviet Politics and Business. Cornell University Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780801473524. [Preview with Google Books]

[S] = Sakwa, Richard, ed. The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union, 1917–1991 (Routledge Sources in History). Routledge, 1999. ISBN: 9780415122900.

[SM] = Seventeen Moments in Soviet History: An On-Line Archive of Primary Sources, Michigan State University.

[SU] = Suny, Ronald Grigor, ed. The Cambridge History of Russia, Volume 3: The Twentieth Century. Cambridge University Press, 2015. ISBN: 9781107660991.

[W] = Weinberg, Robert, and Laurie Bernstein. Revolutionary Russia: A History in Documents (Pages from History). Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780195337945.

[WO] = Wood, Elizabeth A., William E. Pomeranz, et al. Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine. Woodrow Wilson Center Press / Columbia University Press, 2015. ISBN: 9780231704533. [Preview with Google Books]

1 Introduction to the Course, and Russia Today


amandapanda3003’s channel. “History of Russia 1533 Present Map.” June 15, 2011. YouTube.

To Discover Russia. “300 Years of Russian History in 3 Minutes.” March 17, 2014. YouTube.

2 Autocracy in Russia & the Revolution of 1905


[F] Chapter 1: The Setting.

[W] Chapter 1: Prelude to Revolution, pp. 14–27 and 29–31.

Cracraft, James, ed. “The October Manifesto of Nicholas II, 1905.” In Major Problems in the History of Imperial Russia (Major Problems in European History Series). D. C. Heath and Company, 1993. ISBN: 9780669214970.

Dmytryshyn, Basil. “Father Gapon’s Petition to Nicholas II, January 22, 1905.” Chapter 56 in Imperial Russia: A Source Book, 1700–1917. 4th edition. Academic International Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780875692036.

3 World War I and the February Revolution


[D] Chapter 1, Part 7: Notes from Meetings of the Council of Ministers.

[D] Chapter 1, Part 8: Description of General Headquarters, March 1916.

[D] Chapter 1, Part 9: Selections from the Correspondence of Nicholas and Alexandra.

[D] Chapter 1, Part 10: Economic Conditions in Russia, Fall 1916.

[D] Chapter 1, Part 11: Pavel Miliukov’s Duma Speech of November 1, 2016.

[D] Chapter 1, Part 12: The Murder of Rasputin, December 1916.

[D] Chapter 2, Part 13: A Call to Revolutions by Mensheviks, January 1917.

[D] Chapter 2, Part 14: International Women’s Day: The Revolution Begins, February 23–24, 1917.

[F] Chapter 2: 1917: The Revolutions of February and October, pp. 40–49.

The Deepening of the Russian Revolution: 1917,   
(Browse under February and March)

Ruthchild, Rochelle Goldberg. “War, Revolution, Victory?” Chapter 7 in Equality & Revolution: Women’s Rights in the Russian Empire, 1905–1917. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010, pp. 211–32. ISBN: 9780822960669.

Timeline of the Russian Revolution of 1917,

The Revolutions of 1917 (PDF - 2.1MB)

4 The Dual Government


The First Provisional Government, Durham University.

Key Events in Pre-Revolutionary History (PDF)

Wood, Elizabeth. “Visualizing the 1897 Census in Pie Charts,” May 26, 2016,

5 The Deepening of the Revolution, February-October, 1917


[F] Chapter 2: 1917: The Revolutions of February and October, pp. 49–67.

[S] Chapter 2: 1917: From Revolution to Revolution.

  • Document 2.9: Lenin – The Bolsheviks Must Seize Power.   

    • Why was Lenin so insistent on seizing power at that moment?
  • Document 2.11: Lenin – ‘Can the Bolsheviks Retain State Power?’   

    • What did Lenin think it would take to retain state power? Note: Syndicates are trade unions.
  • Document 2.15: ‘To the Citizens of Russia.’

  • Document 2.16: Lenin on the Significance of the Revolution.

  • Document 2.17: More Warnings.

[W] Chapter 2: 1917: The Year of Revolution, pp. 39–43.

Lenin’s April Theses and Order No. 1 (February) are crucial documents for understanding the Revolutions of 1917. Practice your skills of close analysis so you really understand them.

[W] Chapter 2: 1917: The Year of Revolution, pp. 39–55.

What can you understand of peasant and soldiers’ views by reading these documents closely? How did Trotsky and Lenin work with the crowds?

6 The October Revolution No readings or videos assigned
7 The New Government & its Critics


[S] Chapter 2: 1917: From Revolution to Revolution.

  • Document 2.17: Decree on Peace.
  • Document 2.18: Decree on Land.
  • Document 2.19: The Sovnarkom ‘Decree on the Press.’
  • Document 2.20: Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia.

[S] Chapter 3: The Birth of the Soviet State, 1917–1921.

  • Document 3.1: Establishment of the Secret Police.
  • Document 3.2: Dissolution of the Constituent Assembly.

The first government decrees—why were these the top priorities? What does the choice of language tell us about the new rulers’ views of democracy, politics, peace, land, bread, order and enemies?

[W] Chapter 2: 1917: The Year of Revolution, pp. 58–59.

Maxim Gorky, a writer, has harsh words for the Bolshevik seizure of power. Why?

[W] Chapter 3: The Consolidation of Bolshevik Rule, 1918–1921, pp. 61–63.

Overview of the new government coming to power. What do you think of this short introduction?

[W] Chapter 3: The Consolidation of Bolshevik Rule, 1918–1921, pp. 63–77.

How does Lenin justify the creation of the Cheka? What did the new government decrees look like in practice? What was happening to living conditions in different parts of the country?

[SM] Lenin Urges Immediate Seizure of Power: Vladimir Lenin, Letter to the Members of the Central Committee. November 6, 1917.

[SM] Declaration of the Military Revolutionary Committee: Military Revolutionary Committee, Declarations. November 6, 1917.

[SM] Appeals of the Provisional Government: Provisional Government, Appeals to the People and to the Army. November 7, 1917.

[SM] The Revolution Has Triumphed: Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee, Proclamation. November 7, 1917.

[SM] Assumption of Soviet Power: Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets, Proclamation to the Workers, Soldiers and Peasants. November 7, 1917.

[SM] Constituent Assembly Texts.


Gora proletalgoaren diktadura! “Lenin’s Speech: ‘How the Working People Can be Saved From…’.” May 25, 2008. YouTube.

8 Plunging into Civil War


[F] Chapter 3: The Civil War.

[S] Chapter 3: The Birth of the Soviet State, 1917–1921.

  • Document 3.8: Trotsky and the Red Army.
  • Document 3.10: Lenin and ‘State Capitalism.’

What changes does Trotsky propose in the army? Why is the Russian worker a bad worker?

[S] Chapter 3: The Birth of the Soviet State, 1917–1921.

  • Document 3.13: Luxemburg on the Russian Revolution.

Why did the German socialist Rosa Luxemburg reject the Russian Revolution?

Trotsky, Leon. “The Train.” Chapter 34 in My Life: An Attempt at an Autobiography. Dover Publications, 2007. ISBN: 9780486456096.

What does this document tell you about how the Red Army was really run?


Russia and the USSR 1905–1941: Causes and Course of the Bloody Sunday Massacre in St. Petersburg, Mr Allsop


Historical Map of the Russian Civil War 1917–1920,

The Russian Civil War,

9 The Shift to the New Economic Policy (NEP)


[F] Chapter 4: NEP and the Future of the Revolution.

[S] Chapter 3: The Birth of the Soviet State, 1917–1921.

  • Document 3.23: Kollontai’s The Workers’ Opposition.
  • Document 3.24: Programme of the Kronstadt Insurgents: ‘What Are We Fighting For.’

What were the main points of Kollontai’s Workers’ Opposition and the Kronstadt Insurrection?

[S] Chapter 4: The Paths Diverge, 1921–1929.

  • Document 4.1: ‘On the Replacement of Requisitioning by a Tax in Kind.’
  • Document 4.2: Lenin on the ‘Tax in Kind.’
  • Document 4.3: Lenin Puts NEP in Perspective.

Why did the Bolsheviks launch the NEP and what did it mean to them?

[W] Chapter 3: The Consolidation of Bolshevik Rule, 1918–1921, pp. 77–78.

Why did the authorities institute a ban on factions in March 1921?

[W] Chapter 3: The Consolidation of Bolshevik Rule, 1918–1921, pp. 85–89.

Why was there growing discontent as the Civil War came to a close?


Soviet and Post-Soviet Ambivalence about National Identity

Guest speaker: Dr. Mark Pomar, former Director, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Russian Service of the Voice of America, the International Research & Exchanges Board, and the U.S. Russia Foundation.


[W] Chapter 4: The Road to Socialism, pp. 93–99.

  • cult of Lenin
  • “What a Communist Ought to be Like”
  • Trotsky, ty and vy, in the Red Army
  • attacks on religion

[W] Chapter 4: The Road to Socialism, pp. 106–7.

  • “Electrification”

[W] Chapter 4: The Road to Socialism, pp. 108–10.

  • “Celebrating Revolution”

In each reading pay close attention to the question of forming the new society. Who are the enemies? What is being attacked? On what grounds? And what is being celebrated?


[S] Chapter 4: The Paths Diverge, 1921–1929.

  • Document 4.4: Lenin Attacks the Church.

A longer version of Lenin’s 1922 memorandum against the church is available here. I highly recommend it if you want to see the harshness of Lenin’s thinking.


The Politics and Economics of the NEP Years

Guest speaker: Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild, Norwich University.


[F] Chapter 4: NEP and the Future of the Revolution, pp. 111–9.

[F] Chapter 5: Stalin’s Revolution, pp. 120–30.

[S] Chapter 4: The Paths Diverge, 1921–1929.

  • Document 4.26: Stalin and the Grain Crisis
  • Document 4.27: Bukharin Warns against Stalin

[W] Chapter 4: The Road to Socialism, pp. 112–26.

  • The Debate about NEP

Be clear what were the two sides in the debate over NEP; be prepared to hold your own debate in class.

[W] Chapter 6: Picture Essay: Women’s Liberation in the Soviet Union.

Wood, Elizabeth A. “The New Threat to the Social Contract.” Part III in The Baba and the Comrade: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia. Indiana University Press, 1997, pp. 123–26. ISBN: 9780224023719.

———. “Daily Life and Gender Transformation.” Chapter 8 in The Baba and the Comrade: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia. Indiana University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780224023719.


  • “On s’engage et puis on voit,” (Napoleon in [F], p. 112) means “One engages [in a battle], then one sees [what to do].”
  • (Thermidor in [F], p. 119) was the period of the softening, deradicalization of the French Revolution.

12 The Great Break: Collectivization & Industrialization


[F] Chapter 5: Stalin’s Revolution.

[S] Chapter 5: Building Socialism, 1929–1939.

  • Document 5.3: Stalin on ‘The Liquidation of the Staliks as a Class.’
  • Document 5.4: Horror in the Village.
  • Document 5.5: Stalin – ‘Dizzy with Success.’
  • Document 5.6: Declaration of the Bolshevik-Leninist Opposition.
  • Document 5.7: Stalin on Industrialisation.
  • Document 5.8: Against Wage Equality and the Creation of a New Intelligentsia.
  • Document 5.14: Consolidating Soviet Nationalism.

What is Stalin’s attitude about going forward?

[W] Chapter 5: Stalin’s Revolution from Above, 1928–1932, pp. 126–46.

  • “The War Against the Peasantry and the Church”
  • John Scott on industrialization and the Children’s First Five-Year Plan


[W] Chapter 7: Soviet Society and Culture in the 1930s, pp. 165–70 and 174–75.

  • The cult of Stalin
  • The prohibition of abortion in 1936

Kotkin, Stephen. Stalin: Volume 1: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928. Penguin Books, 2015. ISBN: 9780143127864.

A review of the above book

Rubenstein, Joshua. “The Man of Steel,” Wall Street Journal, November 21, 2014.


Dr. Alan Brown. “Stalin: Inside the Terror.” November 21, 2013. YouTube.

13 Life in the 1930s, Purge and Terror, the Gulag


[S] Chapter 5: Building Socialism, 1929–1939.

  • Document 5.17: The ‘Ryutin Group.’
  • Document 5.18: ‘The Congress of Victors.’
  • Document 5.22: The 1936 Constitution.
  • Document 5.23: The Purge Plenum.
  • Document 5.24: Vyshinsky and the Show Trials.
  • Document 5.25: The Show Trials – an American View.
  • Document 5.26: Trotsky – The Revolution Betrayed.
  • Document 5.32: Anna Akhmatova.

[W] Chapter 8: The Great Terror, pp. 190–207.

  • Life in the Gulag
  • Three views of the Gulag


pp. 202–4 contain a longer version of the Trial of Bukharin than that in [S].

pp. 206–7 contain a different translation and selection from Akhmatova’s Requiem than that in [S].

Akhmatova, Anna. “Requiem: 1935–1940,”

Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives,

Mapping the Gulag: Russian’s Prison System From the 1930s to the Present,   
Economic & Social Research Council.

The Great Terror: Possible Theories and Explanations (PDF)


djamaluddin. “Leon Trotsky Speech in Mexico About the Moscow Trials in the Late Thirties.” October 7, 2009. YouTube.

14 The Cosmonaut Who Couldn’t Stop Smiling – Yuri Gagarin


[J] Chapter 1: Yugi Gagarin and the Many Faces of Modern Russia.

[J] Chapter 4: The Chief Designer.

[J] Chapter 5: The Flight That Launched a Thousand Rumors.

[J] Chapter 7: Homo Sovieticus.

[J] Chapter 8: Sacred Lies, Profane Truths.


“Finding Russia on a Map: The Name and the Boundaries in Light of Historical Cartography”

Guest speaker: Dr. Denis Khotimsky

World War II, aka The Great Patriotic War


[S] Chapter 6: The Road to Berlin, 1939–1945.

  • Document 6.1: Stalin Provokes the War.
  • Document 6.2 Treaty on Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union.
  • Document 6.3: Secret Supplementary Protocol to the Nazi-Soviet Pact.
  • Document 6.7: Churchill’s Radio Broadcast of 1 October 1939.
  • 6.12: Hitler’s War Aims.
  • 6.13: ‘None so Deaf as Will Not Hear.’
  • Document 6.14: ‘Secret Number One.’
  • 6.15: More Disclaimers.
  • Document 6.16: Molotov’s Radio Broadcast of 22 June 1941.
  • Document 6.17: Stalin’s Radio Broadcast of 3 July 1941.
  • Document 6.18: Stalin’s Conduct of the War.
  • Document 6.19: The Unexpected War.
  • Document 6.20: Hitler’s Conduct of the War.
  • Document 6.21: The ‘Final Solution’ in the USSR.   
    (What did Stalin know and when did he know it? Pay close attention to the dates of the documents)
  • Document 6.28: The War and the Orthodox Church.
  • Document 6.31: The Deportations.

Barber, John, and Mark Harrison. “The Great Patriotic War.” Chapter 2 in The Soviet Home Front, 1941–1945: A Social and Economic History of the USSR in World War II. Longman Publishing Group, 1991. ISBN: 9780582009653.


Map of Russia,

Map of Russia and Ukraine,

Photographs of Imperial Russia

Russia in Color, A Century Ago, August 20, 2010, The Big Picture,


Grossman, Vasily. “The Last Letter.” In Life and Fate: A Novel. Translated from the Russian by Robert Chandler. HarperCollins Publishers, 1987. ISBN: 9780060913847.

Jenks, Andrew. “900 Days,” October 5, 2012,


Deckert Distribution GmbH. “900 Days Trailer.” Vimeo.

Soviet_Union. “Stalin Speech - November 7, 1941 [English Subtitles].” June 7, 2008. YouTube.

Nechlijudov. “Shostakovich Plays a Fragment of his 7th Symphony (1941).” August 21, 2009. YouTube.

bydloscum. “Red Army Parade [1945 – English].” September 25, 2011. YouTube.

16 Student Presentations No readings or videos assigned
17 The War as Myth and Symbol, and the Origins of the Cold War


[S] Chapter 6: The Road to Berlin, 1939–1945.

  • Document 6.33 Declaration of the Three Powers of 1 December 1943.
  • Document 6.34 The Percentages Agreement, 9 October 1944.
  • Document 6.35 Yalta: Peace and Betrayal.
  • Document 6.39 Stalin’s Victory Toast.

[S] Chapter 7: The Cold Peace, 1945–1953.

  • Document 7.1: Djilas on Stalin.
  • Document 7.2: Stalin’s ‘Two Camps’ Speech, 9 February 1946.
  • Document 7.3: Kennan’s ‘Long Telegram’ of 22 February 1946.
  • Document 7.4: Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’ Speech.
  • Document 7.5: Stalin’s Response to Churchill’s Speech.
  • Document 7.9: Stalin on the Nationality Question.
  • Document 7.10: On Deportations and ‘Pacification.’
  • Document 7.13: Kennan’s ‘Mr. X’ Article.

The Cold War: Origins and Development (PDF)

Holloway, David. “‘The Premises of Policy,’ from Stalin and the Bomb.” In The Structure of Soviet History: Essays and Documents. Edited by Ronald Grigor Suny. Oxford University Press, 2013. ISBN: 9780195340549.

Novikov, Nikolai. “The Novikov Telegram, Washington, September 27, 1946.” In Origins of the Cold War: The Novikov, Kennan, and Roberts ‘Long Telegrams’ of 1946. Edited by Kenneth M. Jensen. United States Institute of Peace, 1993, pp. 3, 8, and 12–16. ISBN: 9781878379276. [Preview with Google Books]

Possible Homework Videos

Al Jazeera English. “Witness - Silent Bombs: All for the Motherland - Part 1.” August 2, 2009. YouTube.

Al Jazeera English. “Witness - Silent Bombs: All for the Motherland - Part 2.” August 2, 2009. YouTube.

Al Jazeera English. “Witness - Silent Bombs: All for the Motherland - Part 3.” August 2, 2009. YouTube.

Al Jazeera English. “Witness - Silent Bombs: All for the Motherland - Part 4.” August 2, 2009. YouTube.

18 The Khrushchev Era: Thaw at Home and Cold War Abroad


[S] Chapter 8: Khrushchev and Reform, 1953–1964.

  • Document 8.3: Khrushchev and the Virgin Lands Scheme
  • Document 8.4: Khrushchev’s ‘Secret Speech.’
  • Example 8.15: Solzhenitsyn Emerges.
  • Document 8.19: Khrushchev’s Ouster.
  • Document 8.20: Suslov’s Denunciation of Khrushchev.
  • Document 8.21: Communiqué of the Central Committee.

[SM] The Capital Meets Its Hero: Moscow Meets the First Cosmonaut (1961).

[SM] Ivan Rakhillo, A Familiar Smile (1961).

[SM] Khrushchev on Roswell Garst: Sergei Khrushchev. The Cold War through the Looking Glass.

[SM] Launch of Sputnik.

[SM] Prisoners Return.

[SM] Prisoners Return Images.

[SM] Succession to Stalin.

[SM] Virgin Lands Campaign.

[SU] Taubman, William. Chapter 10: The Khrushchev Period, 1953-1964.

Krushchev – Key Events (PDF)

Krushchev – Key Terms and Domestic Discussion Topics (PDF)


Max Power. “Nixon vs. Khrushchev – The Kitchen Debate (1959).” February 9, 2010. YouTube.

Lecture Slides

The Cold War: The USSR vs. the US (PDF - 1.8MB)


Jones, Polly, ed. “Introduction: The Dilemmas of De-Stalinization.” In The Dilemmas of De-Stalinization: Negotiating Cultural and Social Change in the Khrushchev Era (BASEES / Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies). Routledge, 2006. ISBN: 9780415545884. [Preview with Google Books]

Nordlander, David. “Khrushchev’s Image in the Light of Glasnost and Perestroika.” The Russian Review 52, no. 2 (1993): 248–64.

19 The Brezhnev Era


[S] Chapter 9: Brezhnev and Stagnation, 1964–1985.

  • Document 9.8: The Sinyavsky-Daniel Trial.
  • Document 9.9: Appeal against Restalinisation.
  • Document 9.10: Appeal to Stop Political Trials.
  • Document 9.23: Solzhenitsyn’s Letter to the Soviet Leaders.
  • Document 9.24: Sakharov’s Response to Solzhenitsyn.
  • Document 9.26: Amalrik, Will the Soviet Union Survive until 1984?

[SM] Crisis in Czechoslovakia.

[SM] The Dissident Movement.

[SM] The Double Burden.

[SM] Natalia Baranskaia, A Week Like Any Other. 1969.

[SM] Red Square Demonstration: Chronicle of Current Events, Invasion of Czechoslovakia and the Red Square Demonstration, 1968.

[SU] Hanson, Stephen E. Chapter 11: The Brezhnev Era.

(Read only pp. 296-305. You may, of course, skim the rest, but it is not required.)

Jenks, Andrew. “1979, The End of the Cold War and the Law of Unintended Consequences,” November 24, 2015,

Late Soviet Images

Daily Mail Reporter. “Poverty, Prostitutes, and the Long, Slow Death of the Soviet Union: Haunting Pictures Show Desperate Struggle to Survive in Last Days of USSR,” The Daily Mail, April 3, 2015.


Baranskaya, Natalya. “A Week Like Any Other Week.” Massachusetts Review 15, no. 4 (1974): 657–703.

Colton, Timothy J. “Brezhnev’s Ambiguous Legacy.” Chapter 1 in The Dilemma of Reform in the Soviet Union. Council of Foreign Relations, 1986, pp. 6–7. ISBN: 9780876090138.

———. “What Ails the Soviet System?’ Chapter 2 in The Dilemma of Reform in the Soviet Union. Council of Foreign Relations, 1986. ISBN: 9780876090138.

Dovlatov, Sergei. The Compromise. Translated from the Russian by Anne Frydman. Alfred A. Knopf, 1983, pp. 3–4 and 103–39. ISBN: 9780394528557.

Engelhardt, Tom. “Reliving the Soviet Experience in Afghanistan,” January 4, 2011,

Goble, Paul A. “State Duma Deputy: ‘Multitude of Parallels’ between Brezhnev and Putin,” January 5, 2011, KyivPost.

Rubenstein, Joshua, and Dr. Alexander Gribanov, eds. “Introduction: Andrei Sakharov, the KGB, and the Legacy of Soviet Dissent.” In The KGB File of Andrei Sakharov. Yale University Press, 2005. ISBN: 9780300106817.

Yurchak, Alexei. “The Cynical Reason of Late Socialism: Power, Pretense, and the Anekdot.” Public Culture 9 (1997): 161–88.

20 Gorbachev’s Political Revolution


[SU] Brown, Archie. Chapter 12: The Gorbachev Era.

Key Developments in Nationality Policy (PDF)


Gooding, John. “Perestroika as Revolution From Within: An Interpretation.” The Russian Review 51, no. 1 (1992): 36–57.

Lukyanov, Fyodor. “Last Will of the Soviet People,” RIA Novosti, March 18, 2011, Johnson’s Russia List.

Gerd Ludwig’s ‘Long Shadow of Chernobyl’ Project, February 27, 2012, The Big Picture,

21 The Yeltsin Years: Politics and Economics


Gessen, Masha. “The Dying Russians.” The New York Review of Books, September 2, 2014.

Holmes, Stephen. “What Russia Teaches Us Now: How Weak States Threaten Freedom.” In The Structure of Soviet History: Essays and Documents. 2nd edition. Edited by Ronald Grigor Suny. Oxford University Press, 2013. ISBN: 9780195340549.

McFaul, Michael. “Yeltsin’s Legacy.” The Wilson Quarterly 24, no. 2 (2000): 42–47 and 50–58.

The Yeltsin Years, 1991–1999 (PDF)


Civil War in Moscow, October'93, Computer Science, University of Toronto.

22 Politics in the Yeltsin Years – How Russia Really Works


[L] “Introduction.”

[L] Chapter 1: Why Are Informal Practices Still Prevalent in Russia, pp. 10–17 and 22–27.

[L] Chapter 2: Chernyi Piar: Manipulative Campaigning and the Workings of Russian Democracy, pp. 28–36, 42, and 47–57.

[L] Chapter 3: Kompromat: The Use of Compromising Information in Informal Politics, pp. 58–66 and 72–90.

[L] Chapter 4: Krugovaia Poruka: Sustaining the Ties of Joint Responsibility, pp. 91–107.

[L] “Conclusion.”

Ledeneva, Alena. “Cronies, Economic Crime and Capitalism in Putin’s Sistema.” (PDF) International Affairs 88, no. 1 (2012): 149-57.

  ———. “Underground Financing in Russia.” Chapter 4 in Creating Social Trust in Post-Socialist Transition. Edited by János Kornai, Bo Rothstein, and Susan Rose-Ackerman. Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. ISBN: 9781403964496.

23 Centralization Under Putin


Gorenburg, Dmitry, with H. H. Gaffney. “Great Promise Unfulfilled: How Russia Lost Its Way after Independence,” (PDF) PONARS Working Paper No. 26, February 2006.

Maass, Peter. “The Triumph of the Quiet Tycoon.” The New York Times Magazine, August 1, 2004.

Myers, Steven Lee, Jo Becker, et al. “Private Bank Fuels Fortunes of Putin’s Inner Circle,” New York Times, September 27, 2014.

Pomerantsev, Peter. “Putin’s Rasputin.” London Review of Books 33, no. 20 (2011): 3–6.

Specter, Michael. “The Devastation.” The New Yorker, October 11, 2004. 


Gessen, Keith. “The Orange and the Blue: A Letter from Ukraine.” The New Yorker, March 1, 2010.

Knight, Amy. “The Truth about Putin and Medvedev.” New York Review of Books, May 15, 2008.

Levy, Clifford J. “Russia’s Liberals Lose Their Voice,” New York Times_,_ December 23, 2008.

McFaul, Michael, and Kathryn Stoner-Weiss. “The Myth of the Authoritarian Model: How Putin’s Crackdown Holds Russia Back.” Foreign Affairs, January / February 2008.

Shevtsova, Lilia. “Post-Communist Russia: A Historic Opportunity Missed.” International Affairs 83, no. 5 (2007): 891–912.

Taylor, Brian D. “Bringing the Gun Back In: Coercion and the State.” Chapter 1 in State Building in Putin’s Russia: Policing and Coercion after Communism. Cambridge University Press, 2011, pp. 8–11 and 24–35. ISBN: 9780521760881.

Trenin, Dmitri. “The Legacy of Vladimir Putin.” Current History 106, no. 702 (2007): 346-48.

24 Medvedev, Anti-Putin Protests, and Putin 3.0


Baev, Pavel. “Squabbles and Splits in Putin’s Nomenklatura Mar His New Presidency.” Eurasia Daily Monitor 9, no. 70 (2012).

Bershidsky, Leonid. “Russian Security Chief Makes Putin Seem Tame,” April 18, 2016, BloombergView.

Cohen, Stephen F. “The New Cold War and the Necessity of Patriotic Heresy,” The Nation, August 12, 2014.

Frost at the Core: Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin are Presiding Over a System That Can No Longer Change.” The Economist, December 9, 2010.

Knight, Amy. “The Truth About Putin and Medvedev.” New York Review of Books, May 15, 2008.

Koesel, Karrie J., and Valerie J. Bunce. “Putin, Popular Protests and Political Trajectories.” Post-Soviet Affairs 28, no. 4 (2012): 403–23.

Levy, Clifford J. “Russia’s Liberals Lose Their Voice,” New York Times, December 23, 2008.

Ruthchild, Rochelle G. “Virgin Mary, Become a Feminist!Women’s Review of Books, December 2014.

Whitmore, Brian, and Robert Coalson. “Putin Crashes Medvedev’s Party,” Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, January 25, 2010.

Wood, Elizabeth A. “Russia’s Anti-Putin Protests are More Than Just a Generational Temper Tantrum,” January 18, 2012, The Angle,

———. “Who Leads Russia?” (PDF) Audit of the Conventional Wisdom, MIT Center for International Studies, June 2008.

25 Russia’s Wars in Crimea, Ukraine and Syria


[WO] Chapter 4: A Small, Victorious War? The Symbolic Politics of Vladimir Putin.

In addition to the above, read another essay and be prepared to compare their methodology and conclusions in a general discussion. You will also write a short outline on Putin’s symbolic politics using the materials from Sessions 22 through 25. This can be in the form of bullet points, but it should have an argument. It will be due at the start of class.

26 Review No readings or videos assigned

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2016
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments