Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I'm contemplating future posts. Here are a few topics I'd like to say something about.

1) What does it mean to say 1917 represents the birth of a new age? Is 1917 the center of something?

2) What is history often seen as the most boring of all subjects? Is the study of Soviet history the antidote or the disease when it comes to the history's public relations problems? How far away is Soviet Roulette from doing something akin to Civil War reenactments?

3) Was the Soviet Revolution a male fantasy, a la Klaus Theweleit's two volume book on fascist sexism, Male Fantasies?

4) What light does Dominick LaCapra or Freud shed on the Revolution? Did Russian society suffer from an inability to work through trauma? Was it doomed to act out this trauma in an endless cycle of fatal brutality?

5) What does Lynn Hunt's work on the French Revolution tell us about the Soviet Revolution? Did Russians need to kill the tsar for oedipal reasons?

6) In what sense was 1917 a modernist aesthetic production? Would Modris Eksteins' Rites of Spring suggest useful comparisons between Lenin and Stravinsky?

7) How exactly do revolutionaries become bureaucrats?

8) William Burroughs once said, to speak is to lie. To amend this, it can definitely be said that teach is to lie with conviction. Teachers iron out complexity, avoid areas of unfamiliarity, present false paradoxes, and generalize with abandon. What lies do teachers tell most frequently about revolutionary history, and why are these particular lies so prevelent, as opposed to others?

9) What did the Soviet Union get right? And is it even fair to ask this question of an tyranny?

10) Is the history of the Revolution out of fashion or in fashion, and for what reason? (Note: This blog's intention was to single out something that was outrageously out of fashion, but floods of new revolutionary monographs and articles suggest an error in the author's premise, no?).

11) What other titles might I have used to encapsulate the themes of this blog?

12) What's the significance of the Stakhonvite movement? How much light does it shed on the Soviet Union's differences from, or similarities to, Western incentives to work?

13) How is that highly centralized planning turned into unprecedented economic chaos?

14) What are the best American movies about Russia or the revolutionary tradition? I've put Reds, Hunt for Red October, and Doctor Zhivago into the DVR queue in preparation for this one. Suggestions welcomed.

15) Do the history of other forms of socialism, including that of St. Simon, Owen, and Proudhon shed any light on the Soviet experience?


  1. This seems like an interesting blog, I'll be keeping up to date with it. I'm also pleased to meet another fellow historian blogger.

    I think you would be interested in my blog: http://highheeledhistorian.com
    Particularly some of the Russian history posts, e.g. :

    I look forward to hearing from you and best wishes for the future of your blog,


  2. Thanks for your visit. I've become a fan of yours on facebook and liked your Stalin post, which has inspired a coming post here. Stay in touch!