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Communism in Power: From Stalin to Mao

Look at Communism behind—and beyond—the Iron Curtain.
Communism in Power: From Stalin to Mao is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 37.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Learning Learning snd more Learning! everythjng this gentleman does i way above just learning.. hevis fantastic
Date published: 2022-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from excellent lecturer. His lectures concentrate on ideas and the people involved. And he adds a few jokes to add humanity to a very sad subject.
Date published: 2022-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Lectures I purchased this course after buying his previous excellent course on the rise of Communism. The history of Communists in power is much worse than previously understood.
Date published: 2022-06-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Addition to His Other Courses! I bought this course having already viewed, and enjoyed, three of the other courses provided by this presenter - on The Rise of Communism, World War I, and A History of Eastern Europe. I was not disappointed. This short course helped me to better understand the events in the broader world over the past 75 years, which I had only experienced from my midwestern American perspective. Although I had traveled in Eastern Europe during the period both before and after the 1989 breakup of the Soviet empire, it was difficult to get a real grasp of how all the pieces fit together. This course gave me more insight into the history through which I have lived.
Date published: 2022-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent overview If you ever had any questions on the rise and fall of communism, this second of three courses is great. This course covers the time period when communism was in its heyday. There is a previous course covering the early days and rise of communism, and soon (at the time of this writing) there will be course covering the decline. Recommended.
Date published: 2022-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great and crucially important history The review title says it all. The professor has assembled a fascinating overview of the tragic history of communism in practice. If everyone in the US, or in the first world, watched this, we would have very different (and much better) policies. I echo other reviewers who say they appreciate the professor's book recommendations. Not many professors on Wondrium have offered book recommendations, and I have marked several down for order on Amazon.
Date published: 2022-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Riveting, heartbreaking, outstanding overall Professor Liulevicius has become a favorite. I watched the course preceding this one--The Rise of Communism--and thought it was excellent. This one is just as good. Professor Liulevicius references a third lecture in this series. I don't see it listed yet; I hope it is forthcoming. The course is by necessity an overview, yet Professor Liulevicius provides enough information to give the viewer a good introduction to the subject. His style is clear and concise, yet warm. He never overlooks the incomprehensible human tragedy of the events he describes. I also appreciated his book and video recommendations. All-in-all, outstanding, thought-provoking, and shame-inducing. We who have lived our entire lives in the U.S. in no way appreciate the rarity of the security and prosperity bubble we inhabit and view as ordinary.
Date published: 2022-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Professor Liulevicius is a great lecturer with an incredible command of the course material. “The rise of communism: from Marx to Lenin” and “A history of Eastern Europe” are also excellent.
Date published: 2022-02-03
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Overview

Taught by Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this course explores the communist movement at its zenith between the 1920s and 1970s, covering the regimes of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union, Mao Zedong in China, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, and Marxist-Leninist governments in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. At the time, communism looked like the unstoppable wave of the future.

About

Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius

To study the deepest impulses in human nature, we see the lure of wealth and conquest, the deep-seated urge for fame and glory, the quest for higher ends, a basic human determination.

INSTITUTION

University of Tennessee

Dr. Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius is Lindsay Young Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He earned his B.A. from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. After receiving his doctorate, Dr. Liulevicius served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University. Professor Liulevicius has won many awards and honors, including the University of Tennessee's Excellence in Teaching Award and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. At the university he teaches courses on modern German history, Western civilization, European diplomatic history, Nazi Germany, World War I, war and culture, 20th-century Europe, nationalism, and utopian thought. Dr. Liulevicius has published numerous articles and two books: War Land on the Eastern Front: Culture, National Identity, and German Occupation in World War I and The German Myth of the East, 1800 to the Present.

Professor Liulevicius participated in The Great Courses Professor Chat series. Read the chat to learn more about diplomacy and war

By This Professor

Turning Points in Modern History
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A History of Eastern Europe
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The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin
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Communism in Power: From Stalin to Mao
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History's Greatest Voyages of Exploration
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The Secret World of Espionage
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Communism in Power: From Stalin to Mao

Trailer

Joseph Stalin: The Soviet Man of Steel

01: Joseph Stalin: The Soviet Man of Steel

Trace the rise of Joseph Stalin after the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924. As the second leader of the new Soviet state, Stalin fulfilled Lenin’s goal of transforming the economy and culture of the old Russian empire, bringing communism to the country at a cost of millions of lives. Learn how Stalin emerged from obscurity to outwit his rivals, including the renowned revolutionary Leon Trotsky.

33 min
The Stalinist Gulag State

02: The Stalinist Gulag State

Stalin’s rule descended into mass terror, culminating in the Great Purge. At its height from 1936 to 1938, this campaign of political repression saw an estimated 600,000 executed and millions more deported to brutal labor camps known as gulags. No one was exempt from possible denunciation and conviction. Hear some of the dark jokes that ordinary people told to cope with the uncertainty.

28 min
Pilgrims to Utopia: Foreigners in the USSR

03: Pilgrims to Utopia: Foreigners in the USSR

“I have seen the future and it works,” declared American journalist Lincoln Steffens after visiting Soviet Russia in 1919. Many notables from the West traveled to the new communist state and came away impressed—or rather deluded by Soviet propaganda. Lenin called these credulous foreigners “useful idiots.” Also learn about those who immigrated to the Soviet Union only to discover the truth.

27 min
World War II: Steel Tempered in the Furnace

04: World War II: Steel Tempered in the Furnace

Chart Stalin’s plan for world domination in light of international politics in the 1930s. Then, see how his strategy was upended by Nazi Germany’s surprise attack on the Soviet Union in 1941—the most devastating campaign of World War II. Near defeat, Stalin appealed to Allied help and Russian nationalism to turn the tide, ending with Germany’s surrender in 1945. The Cold War with the West followed.

29 min
American Communists: Beyond the Red Scare

05: American Communists: Beyond the Red Scare

Track the growth of communism in the United States, where the Great Depression was a golden age for recruitment, especially since the party treated all workers—whatever their race, sex, or ethnicity—as equal victims of capitalism. Note how espionage often went hand in hand with party membership, and survey successive “red scares” such as the McCarthy period, and the punitive response of US authorities.

31 min
The Soviet Elephant and the Secret Speech

06: The Soviet Elephant and the Secret Speech

The Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazism gave the communist movement enormous prestige, heralding imminent global triumph. See how this ambition started to unravel through brewing discontent, spurred by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin in 1956, three years after the dictator’s death. Disillusioned intellectuals further opened the eyes of the world to communism’s flaws.

31 min
Building East Germany, Albania, and Romania

07: Building East Germany, Albania, and Romania

Despite claims that communism was a universal ideology, it developed differently in different countries. Focus on three post-World War II communist regimes: East Germany, which remained rigidly loyal to the Soviet Union; Albania, which cultivated isolation; and Romania, which broke with Soviet patronage and sought ties with the West. One trait common to all was an imperial style of leadership.

30 min
Mao Zedong and Communist China

08: Mao Zedong and Communist China

No one reshaped Marxist-Leninist dogma as much as Mao Zedong, who led the communist takeover of China in 1949. And no one’s policies killed more of his own people, with estimates ranging from 20 to 40 million dead during Mao’s 27 years in power. Study the first half of his tumultuous reign, which saw China transformed in a bid to bring a sprawling peasant society into the modern industrial world.

30 min
China’s Cultural Revolution

09: China’s Cultural Revolution

One participant in Mao’s “Cultural Revolution,” conducted from 1966 to 1976, called it “neither cultural nor revolutionary.” Instead, it was “nothing but a 10-year-long disaster.” Investigate Mao’s motivation for unleashing this nationwide chaos. Also, see how the backlash against it launched China on its present course, which combines rigid state control with private enterprise in the economy.

30 min
Dynastic Communism in North Korea

10: Dynastic Communism in North Korea

Focus on the world’s last remaining Stalinist state, North Korea, which is also a dynasty with rule passed down through the same family, just like in hereditary kingdoms. Starting from the same point after the division of Korea following World War II, Western-oriented South Korea became one of the richest countries in the world, while communist North Korea became one of the poorest. Explore why.

27 min
Ho Chi Minh and Vietnamese Nationalism

11: Ho Chi Minh and Vietnamese Nationalism

Follow the career of Ho Chi Minh, schoolteacher, pastry chef, communist, and revolutionary. An ardent Vietnamese patriot, he led the struggle against French, Japanese, and American control of his country. Dying in 1969, he didn’t live to see the unification of North and South Vietnam under communist rule in the 1970s. Since then, Vietnam has veered away from pure socialism, much like China.

27 min
Pol Pot and Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge

12: Pol Pot and Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge

Delve into the nightmare of slaughter unleashed by the communist leader Pol Pot on taking over Cambodia in 1975. In 1978, neighboring Vietnam invaded Cambodia to end the anarchy, followed by China’s brief invasion of Vietnam in 1979. In other words, communist states pledged to world revolution and international brotherhood were now fighting each other—just like the imperialist powers they scorned.

31 min