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This course is an introduction to the major themes of twentieth century Russian and Soviet history for History majors. The events examined include the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, the Russian Civil War, the changes introduced under the New Economic Policy, industrialization and collectivization, the Great Terror, World War II, de-Stalinization, the Gorbachev reforms, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Attention is paid to the ethnic diversity of the Russian empire and Soviet Union.

The goal was for students to immerse themselves in a Russian cultural experience that would enliven the perspectives explored in the course readings and lectures. Either individually or in groups, students were required to visit a site within Philadelphia city limits (but not on La Salle’s campus) associated with Russian history or culture. Suggested sites included a Russian Orthodox Church during services, a Russian grocery store such as Bell’s Market in Northeast Philadelphia, a play or ballet, a folk concert, or a Russian restaurant.