Again, this reading should mostly be review. It is interesting to read about the Soviet Union and China's communist institutions back-to-back, however. I immediately find myself thinking about how the leaders of respective countries tailor political ideologies to meet their country's unique culture.
In other words, China is old, and BIG. With over 5,000 years of history, China has a long legacy of political greatness, resilience, and nationalism. How (and why, for that matter), did Mao Zedong strive to implement communist policies that are unique to China's needs?
This reading contains quite a bit of history in just a few pages, but again it should be review for you. Consider how tumultuous Russia was from the Bolshevik revolution to the end of Brezhnev's presidency. To what extent was communism always in crisis, even during Lenin's leadership? How did the 20th century Russian leaders try to prove communism's legitimacy? How did these strategies evolve over time?
Much of this reading will come across as a review for us. At this point in the year, we should be very familiar with the tenets of communism. After reading the excerpt from Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto (locations 17-19), consider how the communist ideology aligns with the political practice. To what extent did any ONE (Mao, Allende, Castro, Stalin, etc.) communist leader live up to Karl Marx's ideals?
Communism in Crisis is our last and final unit in this class! We will look at examples from several communist countries and consider how their governments are challenged. 1979-1991 is a pivotal period in history, as many communist governments declined or collapsed. We will also finally learn how to write Paper 1!
It is fascinating to think about how many ways history repeats itself. The Olympics are a perfect example. Consider how controversial Sochi is in 2014, and compare to the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Why did the United States initiate the boycott against the 1980 Olympics? How do you see participating countries still reacting against Russia's policies now?
On a completely unrelated (but very important) note: tell me your biggest fears about the IA. Is it finding sources? Taking notes? Turning your research findings into a paper? Be honest here, because this will help me direct class tomorrow.
This historiographical essay discusses conflicting ideas about Castro's true ideology. Was he truly a communist, or did he do this simply to spite the United States? To what extent does he use religion as a way to rally the masses behind him? Consider the different historian's ideas about Castro--which do you feel are the most convincing, and why?