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Russia's Long Revolution: The Big Surprise  

Richard Robbins No revolution was more self-conscious than the Russian. For more than half a century, small groups of men and women schemed, wrote, preached and murdered in pursuit of a dream -- the overthrow of their country's social and political order. Yet when the revolution came, it was a surprise that kept on surprising, with results far different from what the dreamers had dreamed. These lectures will trace the course of the dream and the reality that emerged from it. Week 1. After some thoughts about revolutions in general, we will consider the ideologies and utopias that absorbed the energies of Russian radicals in the 19th and early 20th centuries beginning with the Decembrists in 1825. Week 2. Practicing for revolution. The formation of revolutionary groups and their effort to destroy the tsarist regime up to and including the revolution of 1905. Counterrevolution and the prospects for the Duma Monarchy. Week 3. 1917. The Great War and its impact. The collapse of the monarchy. The Provisional Government and its crises. Lenin and the October revolution. Week 4. The revolution takes shape. The first steps of the new regime. The civil war and its impact. "War Communism" and its failure. The "New Economic Policy." Week 5. The crisis of the new regime. Lenin's last years. Intra-party struggles. The rise of Stalin. Whither the revolution. Week 6. Russia's transformation under Stalin. Thermidor or rebirth? Thoughts on the revolution after 100 years. When did it end? What was its legacy? Richard Robbins grew up in Western New York State and Florida, went to college in Massachusetts and graduate school in New York City. He moved to Albuquerque in 1969 where he taught Russian history at the University of New Mexico until he retired in 2007. In 2009 he came to the Bay Area. His interest in Russia began early and solidified in college. He has been to Russia many times for research: 1967-68, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1990, 1993, 2003. He and his wife, Catherine Codispoti Robbins, have two children and three grandchildren. IF YOU SIGN UP FOR THIS COURSE AFTER MONDAY 8/21, EMAIL TO BE SURE YOU RECEIVE EMAILS WITH COURSE DETAILS.


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