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From Lenin to Putin:
The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union and the Rise of Russia
Stephen Berk

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: There are many things that drive the historical process, demography, economics, disease, accident, chance, and technological changes among others. One must, however, never neglect the role of personality in influencing history. Towering figures, for better or worse, have driven history. This lecture series will examine the Soviet Union and Russia by examining the impact that a number of key figures had on Soviet and Russian history: Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Gorbachev and Putin. Given the fact that Russia will continue to engage the United States in various areas, it is imperative that Americans have an understanding of Russian history and the events and personalities that shape Russian behavior.

1. Lenin and the Revolutions of 1917 - In 1913, the Romanov dynasty celebrated its 300 year anniversary having survived numerous challenges. Yet, within four years Vladimir Lenin was in power and changed both the history of the country and the world.
2. Stalin - After Lenin died in 1924, Joseph Stalin emerged as the leader of the Soviet state. How he began to revolutionize the Revolution constitutes the body of this lecture.
3. The Stalin Revolution and the Great Patriotic War - Stalin changed everything. He led the Soviet Union to victory and initiated the Cold War. His death in 1953 triggered another struggle for power and the eventual leadership of Nikita Khrushchev.
4. The Road to Putin - The Soviet Union became a gerontocracy. Mikhail Gorbachev attempted reform. Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin tried to resurrect Russia as a great and consequential power. Yeltsin failed; Putin has done it.
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dr. Stephen Berk is a Professor of History at Union College in Schenectady, New York.  He is the author of Year of Crisis, Year of Hope: Russian Jewry and the Pogroms of 1881-1882.  Professor Berk has written articles on Russian and Jewish history, anti-Semitism, and the Middle East.  In 2010, Professor Berk was designated an Israel Hero for his defense and advocacy of the State of Israel by JERNY, the Jewish Educational Resources of New York.

Time: 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Date: Mondays, February 12, 19, 26; March 5
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member - $50
Non-member - $65
Cash will no longer be accepted as payment for lectures.

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