fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Fall Quarter

Fall Registration Now Open
Most Classes Begin Sep 25
shopping cart icon0


« Back to Liberal Arts & Sciences

HIS 120 — The Russian Revolution: 100 Years Later

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Sep 27—Nov 15
Time: 6:30—8:20 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 10
Unit: 1
Tuition: $400
Instructor(s): Kristen Edwards
Status: Open
On-campus course
6:30—8:20 pm
Sep 27—Nov 15
8 weeks
Drop By
Oct 10
1 Unit
Kristen Edwards
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the revolution that brought the Communist experiment to fruition across Russia, the repercussions of which continue to ripple across our modern world. By 1917, the government of the Tsars was weak: repeatedly suffering military defeats, rife with corruption, and ill-equipped to govern an empire 6,000 miles wide. In the midst of famine and deprivation, spontaneous protests spread from factory floors to naval mutinies, with activists embracing violence as the quickest path to change. Within days, Tsar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate. From his exile in Switzerland, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin raced to Moscow to fill the political vacuum, bringing with him not only Marxist ideals, but also an opportunistic willingness to adapt them to the realities of Russian society.

What lessons can we learn from the destruction of a long-established state and the creation of an entirely new one in its ashes? This course examines the Russian Revolution in depth, from its root causes to eyewitness accounts of the events leading to the end of Tsarist rule and Lenin’s consolidation of power. The central texts will be Orlando Figes’s magisterial study, A People’s Tragedy, and John Reed’s Ten Days That Shook the World. The course will include avant-garde literature, art, and film and will tie in with events hosted by Stanford and the Hoover Institution to commemorate the 1917 revolution.

Kristen Edwards, Lecturer in History, Notre Dame de Namur University

Kristen Edwards received a PhD in history from Stanford and has twenty years of experience teaching Russian, European, and world history. She is a contributor to Seventeen Moments in Soviet History, an online archive that provides access to Soviet texts, videos, songs, and images. Edwards studied at Leningrad State University, conducted archival research in Siberia in the 1980s and 1990s, and has led a variety of educational groups to Russia.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Orlando Figes, A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891 - 1924 (ISBN 978-0140243642)
(Required) John Reed , Ten Days That Shook The World (ISBN 978-0141442129 )
(Recommended) S.A. Smith, The Russian Revolution: A Very Short Introduction (ISBN 978-0192853950)