ONLINE: This lecture-based course will cover the ideological foundations and political institutions of post-World War II Soviet rule. We will focus on the Cold War confrontation between the U.S. and the Soviet Union from 1946 to 1985. Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko were key figures in this era. We will then address the mellowing of Communist ideology under Mikhail Gorbachev in both domestic and foreign policy, which culminated in the end of the Soviet state in 1991. This course will provide not only in-depth coverage of the postwar Soviet state, but also background information on the subsequent political rule of the Russian Federation under Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin. That topic will be the basis for a future course. The political mind of the present rule of Vladimir Putin cannot be appreciated without reference to his role as an official in the Soviet secret police, the KGB, or, in English, the Committee for State Security. | Lecture + Q&A.
Max enrollment: 30.
Class sessions are recorded.
William Davidshofer holds a Ph.D. in political science with a specialization in Russian and East European studies from the University of Notre Dame. Since finishing a 42-year career at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, where he was nominated for the Teacher of the Year Award four times, Davidshofer has taught many courses for the OLLI program with excellent evaluations. He has recently published a work entitled "Marxism and the Leninist Revolutionary Model."