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Stalin and Stalinism in Russian History, National Research University Higher School of Economics

73 ratings
26 reviews

About this Course

The course presents the life and deeds of Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union from 1924 till 1953. It analyses the reasons for his actions and their results, as well as the causes of his popularity in Russia today. It offers an analysis of the phenomenon of Stalinism and of its significance for Russia and beyond. In the late 1920s – early 1930s Stalin directed the massive and rapid industrialisation of the country and the forced collectivisation of its agriculture. The industrialisation was based on forced labour, and collectivisation on repression, but both helped to create the material base for the Soviet defence industry. In the late 1930s Stalin unleashed mass terror against the Soviet people, in which millions perished. In his view this helped to rid the country of any potential internal enemies on the eve of the coming war. The USSR, together with its allies, won the Second World War, but at the cost of dozens of millions of lives. Stalin was instrumental in creating the post-war order. The system which he created in the 1930s shaped the USSR as it was during his lifetime and for decades after his death. It also influenced the lives of millions of people beyond the Soviet borders. The course will enable those who take it to develop an informed understanding of the Stalin era and of the phenomenon of Stalinism....

Top reviews


Mar 13, 2019

A great course. A very interesting topic that gives a lot of details. A good course for people interested in history. The assignments at the end of the lecture help to remember all the material.


Mar 22, 2018

Very interesting course. Well taught and good materials. Note that coursework relies on weekly mini-essays and a final longer essay.

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25 Reviews

By Irina Buntar

Mar 13, 2019

A great course. A very interesting topic that gives a lot of details. A good course for people interested in history. The assignments at the end of the lecture help to remember all the material.

By Yuka Takahashi

Jan 06, 2019

Excellent course. Very well prepared, the talk of lecturer is interesting, the content itself is intriguing.

By Frank Domurath

Jan 04, 2019

Good course with many details.

By Maria Clara Évora Águas

Jan 03, 2019

Excellent course ! I've enrolled in several Coursera Courses and this is one of the best. Professor Filatova has designed a clear and wide syllabus, the issues are well fundamented and it "opens space" for further research. Good study materials and presentation on the whole. Clara Águas

By Mohamed Mohamady

Dec 30, 2018

Really helpful course, it gives you an outline of Modern Russian History.

By Lilian Zihni

Sep 05, 2018

This is one of the best courses that I have taken on Coursera. I really learned a lot! It is very well presented and the system of writing something every week is a great learning tool. Excellent Professor. Very proficient mentor, too. Thank you very much for the opportunity to learn so much about Stalin and Soviet life.

By Arturo Quiroz Ramirez

May 18, 2018

The course it's good, it covers the entire life of Stalin and his political rise to power. However, it lets some details out. Despite of this lectures are easy to understand and arranged in a logical chronology. I will like some more reading materials to follow with the course. Though there is a recommended book which I read.

Thank you professor Irina for sharing your knowledge with the world in this platform. In the United States there used to be a Spanish speaking radio station in which a program promoting socialism will run the voice of a woman saying "Viva Lenin, viva Stalin"(long live Lenin, Long live Stalin) every time they switch topics. I now have a clearer idea on what Stalin did and think the slogan shouldn't promote Stalin at all.

By Vicenţiu Horia Vidoni

Apr 20, 2018

This course was very interesting. I learnt a lot about Russian history and I was happy to read the book recommended.

By Fred Irvine

Apr 16, 2018

Lectures were a bit brief. although the lectures had pertinent info. I learned more doing research for the essays. There were around 10 essays of 300 to 400 words each. I enjoy writing so it was not a big deal. The prof. isn't very animated so sometimes it's a bit hard to concentrate on the lectures.

By Joy Smith

Apr 02, 2018

Really good review of the subject