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Historians Studied

You'll hear it said many times over: "Historians, Historiography, dates and specific quotes". You'll be told that this is what IB is looking for.

Well then, here's a brief guide to the historians and historiography studied at AISJ. Here's where you can come for the basics- quotes, historians and their ideas. However, since this page is not meant to be another 'sparknotes' I'm not going to spell EVERYTHING out for you. I'll give you the basics behind them, and you'll have to figure the rest out. If I don't do that, I won't really be helping you at all.


* Note- the quotes are not in chronological order.

Notes on Historiography:


In here, Lenin is the base. The historians in this branch were admirers or opponents of Lenin, but never really analyzed his ideology or achievements.


These guys tried to seriously analyze Lenin. Included in this branch are E.H Carr, Leonard Schapiro, Robert Daniels, Bertram Wolfe, Louis Fischer, Adam Ulam, and Christopher Hill.


"Democracy is but one form of state, and we Marxists are opposed to all and every kind of state." --Lenin, 1917

"A complete and frank liquidation of the idea of democracy by the idea of dictatorship." --Lenin on the dismissal of the Constituent Assembly, 1917

"The Bolsheviks did not seize power, they picked it up." --Adam Ulam, 1964

"...picking up a feather." --Lenin on the October Revolution

"It was true that the Duma never became a parliament in the European sense. It was never able to exercise effective control over the actions of the government of the Tsar. But it would be a mistake to dismiss Russia's "parliamentary experiment" as worthless. It was impossible for a country so large and so backward as RUssia to become a parliamentary democracy in a matter of six years, after centuries of autocratic rule. It was surprising however, how much progress was made in that short period and how much business was done by the four Dumas. The simple fact of the existence of the Duma was important in itself." --David Floyd

"You are a mere handful, miserable and bankrupt! Your role is finished and you may go where you belong- to the garbage pit of history!" --Trotsky to the Mensheviks after the Bolshevik Revolution, 1918. This was after the Mensheviks were displeased with the new order and left the Constituent Assembly.

"In April 1917...Lenin declared that Russia was one of the freest countries in the world. In truth, under the Bolshevik regime, Russians were stripped of most the rights they briefly enjoyed in 1917."--Alan White on Government under Lenin. He's one of the guys we get to read in class. He tries to take a neutral stance.

"...the participation of the Allies and the behavior of the White Armies undoubtly gave the Reds additional support among ordinary people- were they not defending the homeland from acquisitive foreigners? Peasants did not love the Bolsheviks, but they loved the Whites even less, especially when the latter were suspected of aiming to restore land to the former owners." --Wolfson on Bolshevik support during the civil war. Like White, we read him in class.

"It [the Revolution] also marked the culmination of the earlier revolutionary traditions which combined the forces of popular insurrection, intellectual opposition and military defection, and in which elements of Westernism, Slavophilism, Populism, Marxism and anarchism could be identified." --Alan Wood, on the Revolution. REMEMBER THIS GUY'S NAME!!! He'll be really helpful in those papers and in class.

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways: the point, however, is to change it." --Marx, 1845

"Beat your won people and others will fear you."--Russian proverb

The best times then were considered to be the days on which we could distribute to the workers of Leningrad and Moscow one-eigth of a pound of black bread, and even that was half bran. And this continued...for two whole years." --Josef Stalin, on War Communism

"It would, hoever, be idle to consider that the Bolsheviks' planning for revolution was efficient, co-ordinated or thouroughly considered. It succeeded by default rather than design. On Trotsky's own admission, the events of 24-26 October were marked by confusion, apprehension, uncertainty and opportunism...After hours of indecision and ignored ultimata punctuated by sporadic and innocuous shell-fire, the palace was infiltrated (not stormed) during the night of 25/26th by a squadron of revolutionary guards who arrested the remaining members of the Provisional Government. Kerensky was not among them. He had earlier fled in a car placed at his disposal by the United States Embassy." --Alan Wood

"They [the Bolsheviks] grabbed governmental authority through conspiracy. They were disciplined and centralized and they served their dictatorial leader Lenin with blind devotion. Thus the Russian 'masses' were highjacked into acceptance of the coup of October by a itny intellectual elite of meglomaniacs." --Robert Service, 1986

"For him, true democracy was the rule of the Bolshevik Party, the voice of the Revolutionary masses. This idea was based on the notion that the workers needed the enlightened leadership of the Bolsheviks to guide them towards the achievement of their revolutionary potential." --Lynch

"...We must now definitely try to create the utmost chaos in Russia. To this end we must avoid any discernible influence in the course of the Russian revolution. But we must secretely do all we can to aggravate the contradictions between the moderate and the extreme parties, since we are extremely intersted in the victory of the latter, for another upheaval will then be inevitabe, and will take forms which will shake the Russian state to its foundations."--Count von Brockdorgg-Rantzau, German Ambassador in Copenhagen



Note on historiography:


These were written when Stalin was in power. Therefore, these works praised Stalin, and was propaganda. It is not all accurate, but is useful for studying Stalin's methods of fooling the world.


The opposite of the original. The historians of this time cursed the purges and 'cult of personality'. He was abberant to the cause and moved the course of revolution away from the path.


It is as it is called and is led by Trosky. It concentrates on the differences of Stalinism to those of Marxism and Leninism.


This school is made up of psychologists who examine Stalin's life for explanations.


Here, Stalin is represented as the most victorious of the Bolsheviks and their ideals.


This school concentrates on Russian History and Tradition- especially that of the old Tsars and conquerers. Historians in this school believe that the old ones such as 'Ivan the Terrible' and 'Peter the Great' influenced Stalin.


This school believes that Stalin's actions were justified because of Russia's economic backwardness. Basically, they say that these things had to be done.

"Of course we are far from being enthusiastic about the fascist regime in Germany. But fascism is not the issue...He who wants peace and seeks business-like relations with us will always be welcome. " --Josef Stalin in joining the League of Nations in 1934.

"Hitler stared into space for a moment, flushed deeply, then banged on the table so that the glasses rattled and exclaimed in a voice breaking with excitement, 'I have them! I have them!' Seconds later he regained control of himself. No one dared to ask any questions and the meal continued." --Albert Speer, of Hitler's reaction to Stalin's agreement on a pact.

"We are creatures who can get used to anything. What are you going to do? hang yourself? No, you live and then you go on living. They haven't touched you; they took your neighbor, but not you." --Boris Yefimov- Stalin's cartoonist, on the days of the purges.

"...the evil genius of the Russian Revolution who, activated by vindictiveness and lust for power, has brought the revolution to the edge of the abyss." --Ryutin on Stalin.

"Comrade Stalin, having become General Secretary has unlimited authority concentrated in his hands, and I am not sure whether he will always be capable of using that authority with sufficient caution.
"Stalin is too rude and this defect...[is] intolerable in the Secretary General. That is why I suggest that comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from his post and appointing another man in his stead who...[is] more tolerant, more loyal, more polite and more considerate to his comrades, less capricious, etc."
--Lenin's Testament.

"All thanks to thee, O great educator Stalin. I love a young woman with a renewed love and shall perpetuate myself in my children-all thanks to thee great educator, Stalin. I shall be eternally happy and joyous, all thanks to thee, O great educator, Stalin. Everything belongs to thee, chief of our great country. And when the woman I love presents me with a child the first word it shall utter will be: Stalin."--Speech to Stalin

"To reduce the tempo is to lag behind. And laggards are beaten. But we don't want to be beaten. No, we don't want that! The history of old Russia consisted, among other things, in continual beatings for her backwardness. She was beaten by the Mongolian khans. Beaten by the Swedish feudals. Beaten by Polish-Lithuanian nobles. Beaten by the Anglo-French capitalists. Beaten by all of them- for backwardness. For military backwardness, cultural backwardness, governmental backwardness, industrial backwardness, agricultural backwardness. Beaten because it was profitable and done with impunity. Remember the words of the pre-Revolutionary poet, "Thou art and thou are abundant, so one can gain at they expense." They beat her saying "Thou art poor, powerless, so we can beat and rob thee with impunity." That's the law of exploiters. The wolves' law of capitalism. Thou hast lagged behind, thou art weak, so thou art not in the right, hence one may beat and enslave thee. Thou art mighty, hence thou art in the right, one must watch out for thee. That's why we can no longer lag behind." --Stalin. For the Five-Year Plans.

"...But Stalin noticed he was not the only one enthusiastically clapped and cheered. The other man the Congress liked wsa Sergei Kirov; a member of the Politburo. A group asked him to stand for Stalin's job of General Secretary. Kirov refused but even so his days were numbered. On 1 December, Kirov was shot dead at his headquarters in Leningrad." --MacDonald. Not the most neutral of sources, but still useful. Look carefully at his papers.

"The forced depuration and expropiation of hundreds of thousands of defenseless peasant families were chalked up as revolutionary necessity." --Lynn Viola, 1996. Mr. Wyss-Lockner's going to give you guys one of her writings on collectivization- READ IT!!!! It's really helpful for collectivization.

"Grandpa Nikita is a pious one,
He often prays in church,
He's afraid
Lest a komosol his son become."
--Peasant poem

"Throw the Communist in the fire!" --Peasant saying

"Stalin was like God for us. We just believed he was an absolutely perfect individual, and he lived somewhere in the Kremlin, a light always in his window, and he was thinking about us, about each of us...For example, someone told me that Stalin could be the best surgeon. He could perform a brain operation better than anyone else, and I believed it." --Pavel Litvinov


"Stalin originated the concept 'enemy of the people'...This term made possible the usage of the most cruel repression...Facts prove that many abuses were made on Stalin's orders without consulting norms of party and Soviet legality...The wilfulness of Stalin showed itself not only in the decisions concerning the internal life of the country, but also in the international relations of the Soviet Union." --Khrushchev's 'Secret Speech'. Memorize this speech, it'll come up again and again and again ......

"What kind of man uses his shoes to bang tables at a United Nations meeting!!!??" --Anon. On Khrushchev's behavior at the United Nations


"You old asses." --The Kaiser on the Parliament.

"You have finally torn the people away from the protection of the church and its dogma...You have interrupted the old song which lulled human misery, and human misery has risen up and is crying out." --Jean Jaures, on the supression of religion.

"We want eight and we won't wait!" --Chant on naval wars and the building of battleships.

"The German Question was the most comples and most explosive of all European national questions in the 19th century." --Geiss.

"Youth, up to now only an appendage of the older generation, excluded from public life and forced into a passive role, begins to become conscious of itself. It is trying to create a life for itself independent of the laws of convention. It is striving for a way of life which corresponds to the nature of youth, but which will also make it possible for youth to take itself and its activity seriously and to take its place in general cultural activity." --German historian

"Going along to the polling station to vote is a very easy business, and if by doing so, one can procure food and shelter, then everybody, especially the unfit, the incompetent, and the idle will rush to do it." --Wilfredo Pareto.

"The lamps are going out all over Europe: We shall never see them lit again in our lifetime"--Sir Edmund Grey on the First World War.

"Even if we end in ruin, it was beautiful." --German War Minister- General von Falkenhayn on the coming of the war

'There'll be trouble in the Balkans in the Spring."--British joke

"From a European war a revolution may spring up and the ruling classes would do well well to think of this. But it may also result, over a long period, in crises of counter-revolution, of furious reaction, or exasperated nationalism, of stifling dictatorships, or monstrous militarism, a long chain of retrograde violence." --Jean Jaures (French Socialist Leader- REMEMBER HIM!)

"Perhaps this war will, with its blood, set the wheels in motion"--Mussolini on the war.

"A mighty accelerator of events"--Lenin on the war and the 'natural time of Marxism'.

"An endeavour is afood to bring all these powers [Britain, France, Russia and Italy] together for a concentrated attack on the Central Powers [Germany & Austria-Hungary]. At the given moment the drawbridges are to be let down, the doors are to be opened and the million strong armies let loose, ravaging and destroying, across the Vosges, the Meuse, the Niemen, the Bug and even the Isonzo and the Tyrolean Alps. The danger seems gigantic." --Schlieffen

"That noble, patient, deep, pious and solid Germany should be at length welded into a nation and become Queen of the continent instead of vaporing, vaingloriouis, gesticulating, quarrelsome and over-sensitive France, seems to me the hopefullest public fact that has occured in my time." --Thomas Carlye.

"If they were allowed full scope, they would insist on the importance of garrisoning the Moon in order to protect us from Mars." -Lord Salisbury on Imperialism and Colonization.


"To batte! There is a world to conquer and a world to fight against! In this last class war of world history...our word to the enemy is: Thumb in eye and knee on chest." --Rosa Luxemburg.

"It was a struggle waged not so much between different social classes as within the German bourgeoisie between those who believed in cooperation across class lineson the basis of parliamentary democracy and those who categorically rejected the social and political compromises upon which the Weimar Republic had been founded." --Larry Eugene Jones, on culture in the Weimar Republic.

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