Moscow University Touro
Fall 1997

History of Modern Russia
(HIS 382)

Instructor: Nikolai Biryukov

Course Description and Objectives

An account of political and social developments in Russia in the 20th century. The course is designed to advance the students knowledge and understanding of the major events, the principal social forces and the leading personalities of Russias political life from the ascension of Nicholas II to Yeltsins second term in office.


The students are supposed to know the salient figures (including top government officials, leaders of major political parties or otherwise influential persons) and the principal events of modern Russian political history.


The students will have to take four quizes and a final exam. The grades will be determined as follows: each quiz will account for 15 per cent; attendance, for 5 per cent; class participation, for 10 per cent; the final exam, for 25 per cent of the final grade.


The principal textbooks

     Goldman, Marshall I. What Went Wrong with Perestroika. New York - London: W. W. Norton & Co.

     Hoskins, Geoffrey. The First Socialist Society: A History of the Soviet Union from Within. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Supplementary reading

     Sakwa, Richard. Russian Politics and Society, London - New York: Routledge, 1993.

     Tucker, Robert C. Political Culture and Leadership in Soviet Russia: From Lenin to Gorbachev. New York - London: W. W. Norton & Co., 1987.

Other titles covering specific periods will be indicated
in the course of the relevant lectures.


Schedule of Lectures and Exams

Sept. 16

Lecture 1.

The Making of Modern Russia: Historic Circumstances and the Development of Russian Political Culture.

Sept. 18

Lecture 2.

On the Road to Revolution: The Major Issues and the Principal Forces of Pre-Revolutionary Russian Politics.

Sept. 23

Lecture 3.

The Bolshevik Revolution and the Civil War.

Sept. 25

Lecture 4.

The Social and Political Reforms of Lenins Administration.

Sept. 30

Quiz 1.

Russia in 1990-1922.

Sept. 30

Lecture 5.

The End of NEP and the Great Turning Point, 1923-1933.

Oct. 2

Lecture 6.

The Grand Myth and the Grand Terror: The Soviet Union in 1934-1940.

Oct. 7

Lecture 7.

The Soviet Union in and after World War II, 1941-1953.

Oct. 9

Quiz 2.

Stalinist Russia, 1923-1953.

Oct. 9

Lecture 8.

The Thaw: The Khrushchevs Decade, 1953-1964.

Oct. 14

Lecture 9.

The Developed Socialism alias The Stagnation:
The Soviet Union under Brezhnev and His Successors, 1964-1985.

Oct. 16

Lecture 10.

The Superpower: The USSR in International Politics, 1953-1985.

Oct. 21

Quiz 3.

The Soviet Union in 1953-1985.

Oct. 21

Lecture 11.

The Perestroika: Gorbachevs Reforms, 1985-1991

Oct. 23

Lecture 12.

The Collapse of the USSR.

Oct. 28

Lecture 13.

The Post-Perestroika: The Social and Political Reforms of Yeltsins Administration, 1991-1997

Oct. 28

Quiz 4.

Perestroika and Post-Perestroika, 1985-1997.

Oct. 30

Final Examination