Telephone: 342-1088 Office Hours: 8: 30-10: 30 Mon. & Wed. Email

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HIST 493

Soviet Union & Commonwealth of Independent States

Dr. R. Brown
Office: Brown 214 Telephone: 342-1088

Office Hours: 8:30-10:30 Mon. & Wed. Email:

8:15-9:15 & 12:00-2:00 Tues. & Thurs.

Course Description: This course examines the following themes: the revolutions of 1917 and the development of the Soviet system, the political, social, and economic developments in the U.S.S.R. with special attention to the role of the Soviet Union in world affairs and the collapse of the U.S.S.R. and the emergence of the Commonwealth of Independent States, prerequisite: HIST 112.

Textbooks: Jules R. Benjamin, A Student's Guide to History, 9th ed

Woodford McClellan, Russia: The Soviet Period and After (4th ed.)

Simon Sebag Montefiore, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar

David Satter, Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State

Robert W. Stephan, Stalin's Secret War: Soviet Counterintelligence Against the Nazis, 1941-1945 (required for graduate students only)

Class Topics
1/18 Introduction, Background, & Discussion of Cheating/Plagiarism

Read: Benjamin, pp. 113-115

1/23 The Bolshevik Coup D'État

Read for Class: Benjamin, pp. 19-45, McClellan, chapters 1& 2

Evaluate the following sites:
1/25 Civil War and Intervention

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 3

Graduate Students: read Stephan
1/30 Building Communism

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 4

2/1 NEP

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 5

2/6 Domestic Life: 1920s

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 6

2/8 Foreign Policy: 1920s

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 7

2/13 Stalin's Revolution

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 8 & Montefiore, part 1

Evaluate the following site:

2/15 Great Terror

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 9 & Montefiore, part 2

2/20 Famine

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 10 & Montefiore, parts 3-5

Evaluate the following document:

Ivan Ivanovitch biography (available on Blackboard)

2/22 Foreign Policy: 1930s

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 11& Montefiore, part 6

3/6 Great Patriotic War & Montefiore, parts 7-8

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 12

3/8 Mid-Term Exam
3/13 Stalin's Cold War & Montefiore, part 9

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 13

Undergraduates Read for Class: Benjamin, pp. 58-77

3/15 Late Stalin Years & Montefiore, part 10 & postscript

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 14

Graduate Student Research Paper Due

3/20 Thaw & de-Stalinization

Read for Class: McClellan, chapters 15 & 16

3/22 Discuss Stalin
3/27 Reform Era

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 18

Stalin Paper due
3/29 Troika Rule

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 19

4/3 Stagnation

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 20

4/5 Foreign Policy, 1964-85

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 21

4/10 Gorbachev

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 22

4/12 Crisis

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 23

Spring Break: Read Satter
4/24 Death of U.S.S.R.

Read for Class: McClellan, chapter 24

4/26 Time of Troubles

Read for Class: McClellan, chapters 25 & 26

5/1 Darkness at Dawn Paper Due

5/3 Review
5/8 Final Exam (3:00 p.m.)

I. Short Essays: Each student is assigned two short essays, answering assigned questions pertaining to our reading assignments. Each essay accounts for 20% of the final course grade (undergraduates) or 10% of the final course grade (graduates).

A. Length: 5 typed pages per essay.

B. Citing sources: all sources used must be properly cited using endnotes or footnotes (Chicago style) where appropriate; see Benjamin’s A Student’s Guide to History, pp.121-130. Also, review Benjamin (p. 120) concerning when to use quotations and how to cite sources; no bibliography is required.
C. Outside sources: Outside sources are not required for short essays. If outside sources (sources other than an assigned text) are used, each source must be brought to class for review on the day the essay assignment is due. For example, when a book other then a required text is used as a source, the book must be brought to class for my inspection and a photocopy of the page or pages used from the source must be turned in to the instructor. The following is another example: if an outside article (electronic or otherwise) is used, a photocopy of the entire article must be turned in. Failure to do the above will result in no grade being awarded to the essay. Sources turned in late will result in a letter grade off the essay for each day late.
D. Blackboard: Each essay must be submitted through blackboard and is due at the beginning of class according to the schedule above; late papers will receive a letter grade off for each day late. Work may be submitted early.
II. Exams: A mid-term exam and final exam are scheduled; each will account for 25% of the final course grade. Mid-term Make-up exams are only given in extreme circumstances and according to the History Department's make-up policy. Final Make-up exams are usually not given. Make-up exams are identification exams. The final exam and the class are both over once the last student to arrive to the final on-time hands in his/her final exam. For ULM exam schedule see,

III. Research Paper (Graduate Students Only): Each graduate student will write a research paper (10 typed pages, excluding bibliography) on an approved topic using proper citation of sources (Chicago style). The research paper will account for 20% of the final course grade. Late papers will receive a letter grade off for each day late; the paper must be submitted through Blackboard.

Class Policies:

I. Attendance and class participation: Regular class attendance is both encouraged and required. With regular class attendance and active participation in class, a student will earn a strong class participation grade. Class attendance/participation will count 10% of the final course grade. Any student missing more than 3 classes due to unexcused absences will receive a reduced attendance/participation grade. According to ULM policy, excused absences include the following absences: "1) absences arising from authorized trips away from the university or from special duties at the university, 2) absences arising from a student's confinement in a hospital or other in-patient facility," or "3) absences arising from a death in the immediate family." Generally speaking, work obligations do not count as excused absences. Be sure to submit excuses for absences within three days of returning to class. Excuses should include your full name, class name and section, and date of absence.

II. Cheating and Plagiarism: Any form of plagiarism or cheating may result in an “F” for the course. Read the ULM Undergraduate Catalog 2005-2006, pp. 63-64. If you have any questions concerning plagiarism or cheating, please let me know PRIOR to handing in work or taking your first exam.

III. Grading scale:

A=100-90, B=89-80, C=79-70, D=69-60, F=59 & below

IV. Disabled Students: Students declared by licensed medical authority to have a learning or other disability will be helped in a reasonable manner. It is the student’s responsibly to alert the instructor that he/she has a disability and provide him with the appropriate documentation from the university’s Counseling Center.

V. Mid-Term Grade: Undergraduates may check your mid-term grade on Arrow.

VI. Blackboard: Class announcements and some of our lecture notes will be posted on blackboard. Though every effort will be made to adhere to the above schedule, the instructor reserves the right to change the above schedule; should changes be necessary, they will be posted on blackboard or notification of changes will be sent to the student in an email.
VII. Email: In most cases, the instructor will send email to students’ tribe accounts. If you do not know how to access your tribe account, please contact the ULM helpdesk at 342-3333 or In order to answer email questions, all emails to the instructor should include the sender’s full name and course name.

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