HISTORY 329 - Social Science Topics in History
Winter 2019, Section 002 - Stalin and Stalinism
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected five times for credit.
Meet Together Classes:
Primary Instructor:


Arguably, Stalin was the most powerful man in the world at the time of his death. He controlled not only the Soviet Union and much of Eastern Europe but also had enormous influence over the nearly billion people of China. He had turned the revolution of 1917 into an authoritarian dictatorship based on terror and police infiltration, yet was admired by intellectuals and activists around the world and adored by millions of his own citizens. This course will explore the roots of Stalinism, first through the biography of the dictator himself, then through a study of the ideology and practices of the Soviet system in the Stalinist years (1928-1953). Special emphasis will be placed on the Cold War and Stalin’s foreign policy, but other topics will include the collectivization of the peasantry, the Great Terror of 1936-1938, and the Soviet struggle against Nazism in World War II.

Besides historical and political science works, students will read some fiction dealing with the period, as well as watch two films about the period. Each class period will be divided into a lecture followed by discussion of the readings. The course is both an introduction into the historical literature on a crucial period of twentieth century history and a way to understand a society that stands at the opposite pole from democratic capitalist countries. Questions raised by studying the rise and maintenance of a powerful dictatorship, the major opponent of the United States in the Cold War, can help dedicated students to understand the variety of political solutions to problems of social transformation.

Course Requirements:

1. All students will complete the readings and participate in the discussions.
2. All students will prepare a mid-term paper (6-8 pages, typed, double spaced), which will analyze the readings to date. Midterm papers are due at the beginning of class on February 27, 2019.
3. All students will select and read a book of their choice, in consultation with the instructor, on the Soviet Union and World War II and deliver a short oral report on the reading in the March 13, 2019 class. Suggestions are given at the end of the syllabus.
4. All students will report on their research and write a final research paper (12-15 pages, typed, double spaced) based on a topic that has been discussed with the instructor. Final papers are due to the instructor by 5:00 pm on April 23, 2019.
All the materials on CANVAS are under History 329, to which all registered students have access. The syllabus and examinations will also be on CANVAS.


HISTORY 329 - Social Science Topics in History
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 5:30PM - 7:00PM
002 (LEC)
 In Person
W 2:00PM - 5:00PM
003 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 8:30AM - 10:00AM

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for HISTORY 329.002

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for HISTORY 329 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)