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#21
Scade

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Can you recommend any works on either Russian history or the Cold War that you think might be useful for IB revision? It's been quite easy to find good books for the other syllabus sections but those two are currently my main problems. :)


My favorite books my teacher has had us study from for Russian history are:

  • Reaction and Revolution: Russia 1894-1924 by Michael Lynch
  • The Great Powers 1814-1914 by Eric Wilmot (this isn't all about Russia, but it's got some important stuff)
  • Communist Russia under Lenin and Stalin by Chris Corin and Terry Fiehn

But since Scade is in college, I bet he's got some more suggestions... These are just the one's I used (I also used Hobsbawm

Well since I just happen to be in the middle of an essay on Russian revolution I happen to have a plethora of books I could recommend. However, I'll try to keep it short. Also last week I did an essay on Gorbachev so if you need advice for later period I'll happily give that too, and earlier this term I covered Stalinism, so mainly Khrushchev and Brezhnev eras aren't my thing.

I will probably end up listing an excessive amount of books, since it is rather easy to forget that after all you're doing six subjects and history is not your only concern.

I would definitely start with Robert Service's A History of Twentieth Century Russia. (Or whatever the title is now, as it keeps changing with new editions, anyway a fairly recent overview of Russian history by Service who is one of the best in the field).
Looking at the revolution itself. Sheila Fitzpatrick's S. Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution. This is a classic revisionist work of the field offering some original, striking and quality analysis as well as a good general overview of the period (and it is not too long either!)
Orlando Figes's A People's Tragedy is a magisterial work on the topic, but unfortunately also magisterial in size. If you can find it in a library (and any relatively well stocked university library/equivalent should have it) I'd recommend taking a look at it. It's a very enjoyable read, but you might not want to go through the whole of, just look at his argument so you can use it for your essays/stuff.
Richard Pipes is the conservative fiercely anti-communist historian of the field, I cannot agree with most of his conclusions and interpretations, but knowing what he says is good, at least for countering his arguments.

There should be at least some books that should suffice for the era of the Russian revolution (and most likely well exceed what is demanded). Robert Service is definitely a good bet, because his book covers the whole Soviet period rather plausibly. As I said before, if you want more books on this period just ask. Also just ask if you're doing more on Russian history esp. Stalin and Gorbachev, (the Fitzpatrick book should be pretty good for Stalin also, as her interpretation is that the revolution only ended in the purges of the 1937 and therefore she included collectivization and industrialization in her book).

When it comes to the Cold War, it isn't really my special are, but I'll have a go. John Lewis Gaddis's book The Cold War is a decent book to start with, especially his treatment of the origins is plausible (that is really the only period that I have studied). However, he is slightly biased by his western perspective. Not always in interpreting events in favour of the West, but more because he simply doesn't deal that well with the Soviet Union imo. However, in a week or so I'll be doing an essay on the Marshall plan, and European economic recovery so if that falls in your areas of interest I'll be able to give some advice. Also his book We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History is a good one. Tony Judt's Postwar is an amazing book basically covering Europe from 1945 up to 2000 or so. He writes very well, is enjoyable to read and is always high quality in analysis. However, his focus is on Europe, not Cold War per se. I also have to advertise David Reynolds's books, after all he is a fellow at my college, his One World Divisible is a good global history of the period 1945 onwards. Also he has done some work on cold war, for example From World War to Cold War. These are some overviews of the period, again if you want I can try to give some more specific books, but don't know how much you need them. And since I'm mainly studying European history, most of the books might be more European in their perspective than desired.

So yeah, there should be something you can dip into, if you want more advice or my views on some areas don't be afraid to ask. After all I'm a pathetic person at university still posting on ibsurvival :P

#22
Cynthia

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My favorite books my teacher has had us study from for Russian history are:

  • Reaction and Revolution: Russia 1894-1924 by Michael Lynch
  • The Great Powers 1814-1914 by Eric Wilmot (this isn't all about Russia, but it's got some important stuff)
  • Communist Russia under Lenin and Stalin by Chris Corin and Terry Fiehn

But since Scade is in college, I bet he's got some more suggestions... These are just the one's I used (I also used Hobsbawm


Thanks Julie! My history class actually uses the first one, but I'll be checking out the last book especially :)


I will probably end up listing an excessive amount of books, since it is rather easy to forget that after all you're doing six subjects and history is not your only concern.

---

So yeah, there should be something you can dip into, if you want more advice or my views on some areas don't be afraid to ask. After all I'm a pathetic person at university still posting on ibsurvival :P


Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for! I feel pretty confident about my other subjects so I'm currently just making absolutely sure that I'll get a 7 from History :-)

#23
Anagnorisis

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I have a question concerning paper 2. In class we have covered Causes, practices and effects of wars, and the Cold War. However, I find the first topic very hard, and I have difficulties answering the exam questions about it.
Would it be possible to rather answer a question from another topic on the exam? For paper 3 we have dealt with Stalin and Franco, and I think that I have enough knowledge to write an essay on topic 3 "the rise and rule of single-party states".

I don't know if my teacher reports to the IB which topics we have covered, so maybe I would have to answer one from topic 1. Anyway, it would have been a great relief if I could stop worrying about all the wars, and rather write about something I feel that I really know something about.

#24
Cynthia

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I have a question concerning paper 2. In class we have covered Causes, practices and effects of wars, and the Cold War. However, I find the first topic very hard, and I have difficulties answering the exam questions about it.
Would it be possible to rather answer a question from another topic on the exam? For paper 3 we have dealt with Stalin and Franco, and I think that I have enough knowledge to write an essay on topic 3 "the rise and rule of single-party states".

I don't know if my teacher reports to the IB which topics we have covered, so maybe I would have to answer one from topic 1. Anyway, it would have been a great relief if I could stop worrying about all the wars, and rather write about something I feel that I really know something about.


Yes, you can answer on a topic which you haven't officially studied - am planning to do so myself if I get a good question on the war topic, instead of doing the Cold War which I feel less confident about. You do have to write two essays on two topics, however, so you'd need to cover either Cold War or the war topic, and if you get unlucky you may not get a question that you can answer based on Stalin and Franco.

#25
Anagnorisis

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Yes, you can answer on a topic which you haven't officially studied - am planning to do so myself if I get a good question on the war topic, instead of doing the Cold War which I feel less confident about. You do have to write two essays on two topics, however, so you'd need to cover either Cold War or the war topic, and if you get unlucky you may not get a question that you can answer based on Stalin and Franco.


Ok, thank you! I will of course also revise the war-topic, but it is nice having another option as well :)

#26
ezpz123

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for anyone taking route 1, i have pree much my European history down cold (charlemagne, crusades etc). need help with islam though.

#27
toytoytoy

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Can someone help me out with my topic for the IA? :)

I find it a bit...I don't know, theres something wrong with it or somethings missing? I really wanted to write about the american Civil war because I find it interesting and since I live in europe we dont really do much of it and so I thought it would be interesting to look into it:P But I'm having troubles getting a good question...this is basically what i've come down to...

To what extent did the election of Abraham Lincoln affect the secession of the south?
or
To what extent did the election of Abraham Lincoln affect the confederates during the civil war?
or
To what extent did the election of Lincoln affect the south?

I want to write about what Lincoln and the election and causes of the war....gaah help! :)

Ideas anyone on how I can improve my question?

#28
Drake Glau

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I would further specify the effect part of that. And maybe change Abe's election to maybe some of his specific policies because if you look at his entire term as president...well that's 8 years of policies and stuff and all about the Civil War...
For your first question do you want to talk about their choice to leave being affected by whatever he did or them backtracking and rejoining the union based off whatever he did?
The 2nd question is immensely broad. The confederates were the entire south. Civilians, the army, political figures, all of them. Personally I would avoid this question because your asking how a historical event affected people who have been dead for a really long time :P
The 3rd question you could write a book over, several books...To what extent did Lincolns <economic/militaristic/political> policies affect the south on a <economic/militaristic/political> level?

#29
toytoytoy

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really i want to talk about the reasons the south wanted to secede and if the election of lincoln had a big role in them doing so....


hehe alright I will cross 2 and 3 out.

Edited by toytoytoy, Jun 05, 2011 - 22:47.


#30
Drake Glau

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Then maybe find some specific things about lincoln's election (campaign policies? actual policies after elected? what did he do?) and then you can discuss how those things either pushed the south to secede or maybe it was to keep them from seceding but they still did? It'd be good to address both issues in my opinion :)

#31
toytoytoy

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Then maybe find some specific things about lincoln's election (campaign policies? actual policies after elected? what did he do?) and then you can discuss how those things either pushed the south to secede or maybe it was to keep them from seceding but they still did? It'd be good to address both issues in my opinion :)



ALright thanks :) sounds good. well is the question OK ? Or should I find a way to incorporate some of the things about his election into it? :/

#32
Furud

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I would word the question differently. It needs to be more specific and narrowed. Are you trying to discuss the extent to which Abe's election was responsible for the secession of the south? The problem there is that you might spread yourself too thin as there is so much to cover and your analysis will not be as detailed. Perhaps try to analyse one specific incident such as the John Brown incident?

#33
El Che

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Evaluate the effectiveness of the Brezhnev Doctrine.

Hey! Can anybody help me answer the question above? I looked it up in Internet and I couldn't find any decent answer. =) Thanks in advance!

#34
FlipFlop

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Evaluate the effectiveness of the Brezhnev Doctrine.

Hey! Can anybody help me answer the question above? I looked it up in Internet and I couldn't find any decent answer. =) Thanks in advance!


Isn't this an essay topic? Sounds like one to me...

It's been some time since I studied the Brezhnev doctrine, but, the first thing that comes to my mind was the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. The doctrine was announced to justify the invasion of Cz. Therefore, first state whether it was effective- did it justify the invasion of Cz.

I would say that no, it didn't. And then I'd go on to say why. Though the doctrine reminded the peoples of Eastern Europe that the USSR had power over them, it was internationally condemned... etc

If it's an essay topic, it means you have to make your own argument. Hence you won't find an answer in google. Research the Brezhnev doctrine and how it affected the cold war and politics at the time and make your own argument. Keep answering the question: what was the purpose of the doctrine? Was it successful in justifying its purpose?

God luck. Hope it helped :)

#35
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Hello everyone, I need some serious help with this question from the Americas. I've been trying to find a concrete argument but I can't get to one so far.

Analyse the successes and failures of President Kennedy’s foreign policies towards Latin America between 1961 and 1963.
I was thinking about his policy towards Cuba but oh well that's just me. There was this programme that was signed in Uruguay but I don't remember the name. Please help me. Thanks

#36
Procrastination

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Hello everyone, I need some serious help with this question from the Americas. I've been trying to find a concrete argument but I can't get to one so far.

Analyse the successes and failures of President Kennedy’s foreign policies towards Latin America between 1961 and 1963.
I was thinking about his policy towards Cuba but oh well that's just me. There was this programme that was signed in Uruguay but I don't remember the name. Please help me. Thanks


Well first of all...Kennedy’s policies toward Latin America have to be understood within the context of the Cold War, the core of the United States’ policy until its end in 1991 after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, leaving the United States as the dominant military power. . Cuba was the first major crisis to confront the new administration of John F Kennedy in 1961. The ultimate goal of the policy was to thoroughly undermine, or even assassinate if necessary (Operation Mongoose), Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.
Besides this policy towards Cuba, the administration proposed a comprehensive plan for Latin America; the Alliance for Progress. I think this is the programme you're talking about,the programme was signed at an inter-American conference at Punta del Este, Uruguay, in August 1961. It aimed at establishing economic cooperation between North and South America. The aid was intended to counter the perceived emerging communist threat from Cuba to US interests and dominance in the region.

The United States pledged to spend $10 billion in the region, over ten years, to build transportation facilities and to provide technology and industrial material. In return, Latin American governments were to institute programmes of social and political reform, including land reform. To guard against more radical movements like Castrist guerrilla movements in Cuba, the US government also undertook to strengthen the military forces of the region with arms and training. At the same time, the US suspended economic and/or broke off diplomatic relations with several dictatorships between 1961 and Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, including Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru. But these suspensions were imposed only temporarily. Unlike Operation Mongoose, the Alliance had its successes and failures.

It is of vital importance for you to understand that Latin America was one of the latent point to the United States. The United States pledged to spend $10 billion in the region, over ten years, to build transportation facilities and to provide technology and industrial material. In return, Latin American governments were to institute programmes of social and political reform, including land reform. To guard against more radical movements like Castrist guerrilla movements in Cuba, the US government also undertook to strengthen the military forces of the region with arms and training. At the same time, the US suspended economic and/or broke off diplomatic relations with several dictatorships between 1961 and Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, including Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru. But these suspensions were imposed only temporarily. Unlike Operation Mongoose, the Alliance had its successes and failures.

Successes according to my analysis:
  • Growth in regional output in Latin America in the 1960s was 2.4 %, nearly matching the Alliance for Progress goal of 2.5 %.
  • In contrast to the 2.1 % growth in the 1950s, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate in Latin America reached 2.7 % in the later part of the 1960s and climbed 3.8 % between 1970 and 1974.
  • Overall seven countries reached the target goal of 2.5 % GDP growth, twelve nations did not reach the goal, and Haiti and Uruguay had lower GDPs.
  • Adult illiteracy was not wiped out, although it was reduced. In some countries, the number of people attending universities doubled or even tripled. Access to secondary education also showed increases.

And finally the major failures of Kennedy's policy:

  • Of the 15 million peasant families living in Latin America, only one million benefited from any kind of land reform. The traditional elites resisted any land reform.
  • Minimum wage laws were created but the minimum wages offered to Nicaraguan workers, for example, were set so low as to have no appreciable effect on the wages received. In other nations, minimum wage laws encouraged employers to use labour-saving machinery.
  • Much of the aid to the region was in the form of loans that eventually had to be repaid. Moreover, aid money had to be used to buy US products transported on US ships; by eliminating competition, such restrictions added generally to the cost. The recipient nations often had to obtain new loans just to pay off their debts. A significant percentage of aids funds were dissipated through corruption and inefficiency.
  • In Latin America during the 1960s thirteen constitutional governments were replaced by military dictatorships.

I'm SURE it helped

Edited by Procrastination, Sep 04, 2011 - 03:25.


#37
sarahlouise

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Does anybody have any suggestions for books for further reading regarding the Peacemaking & Peacekeeping interwar years topic?
It would be really helpful!

#38
Arrowhead

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Does anybody have any suggestions for books for further reading regarding the Peacemaking & Peacekeeping interwar years topic?
It would be really helpful!


Maybe this link might help.

#39
I Scream For Icecream

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Hey people, can somebody help me compare and contrast the foreign policies of Hitler and Mussolini up to 1940? It would be very appreciated, I'm lost.

#40
Procrastination

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Mussolini had longer to develop his foreign policy and initially this was aimed at redressing perceived grievances over the Paris Peace Treaties, Fiume and Corfu. Both leaders wanted to develop an Empire although Hitler’s was more European based than Mussolini’s. Mussolini desired revenge for Adowa, which led to the Abyssinian campaign in 1934. Both were members of the Four-Power Pact, but only Mussolini belonged to the Stresa Front. Mussolini, following Locarno, was pledged to support the Rhineland, which led to his intervention against Hitler in Austria in 1934. It was only in 1936 that the two leaders started moving in the same direction although Hitler’s plans for conquest were more ideologically based and more widespread than those of Mussolini.

You should take more things into account such as the Spanish Civil War, Anschluss, Munich, aggressive moves in 1939, and campaigns in the Second World War
Hope it helped.

Edited by Procrastination, Sep 08, 2011 - 23:36.