CS: To Dance (or not to Dance) with Stalin: Eastern Europe under Communism, 1944-1989

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This is the follow-up lecture course to D300 (“The Trouble with Being Born”: Eastern Europe in the First Half of the Twentieth Century). The course begins inside the Second World War, when the interwar years have decisively come to an end, but no one yet knows what is to follow. We will then explore the history of Eastern Europe from the “liminal” years immediately following the end of the war, through the Stalinist period, the post-Stalin “Thaw,” the emergence of “revisionist” Marxism, “normalization” and dissent, and finally the revolutions of 1989. Within this narrative, topics will include the bloody Stalinist show trials, the Tito-Stalin split, the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the Prague Spring of 1968, the reign of Ceaucescu in Romania, and the flowering of samizdat and dissident culture in the 1970s and 1980s. D300 is not a prerequisite for this class.