The Depths of Despair: Long Winters and their Effect on History

General Winter by Louis Bombled (1862–1927), via Wikimedia Commons In this era where there is a lot of talk about the climate and its effect on our lives, and as a signal of what we have done to the planet we inhabit, it is also worthwhile to discuss its effect on history. There are several notable situations that had repeated impact on historical events, most notably in Russia.  It was in a Russian winter that Napoleon's forces were halted and nearly ...

Teaching Russia, killing 3 Birds with One Stone and Auld Lang Syne

My last post for the student blog that I finished yesterday, in honor of the centennial of the murder of Rasputin led me to re-examine how to include the Russian Revolutions in the curriculum.  When the World History Topics were 20th century World History Topics, and before Route 1 and Route 2 were ever conceived of, certain topics were taught by most IB History teachers, most notably World War I and the Russian Revolutions.  This was further reinforced by the ...

Historical Inquiry and Stalinism

This is relevant to 20th century topic 3: Single Party States, and the HL option Europe and the Middle East. As I breezed through the local university library, I saw a copy of Master of the House, the most recent text available on Stalin, this one by Oleg Khlveniuk, a senior fellow at the state archive of the Russian Federation. At first, I jubilantly walked by it, encouraged by the fact that, for the first time in years, Stalin was not ...