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Notes on video lecture:
Russian History in Context
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
sense, complicated, wrong, advertisements, heart, alike, Communism, lessons, Revolution, consequences, enhanced, wisdom, 1917, scientists, destruction, Western, diplomatic, performed, circumstances, appeasement, idealism, acquired, extraordinary, broader, aggressive, repeat, goals, resisted, European, coexisted
why study history
those who do not study history are compelled to              it
but this sentence makes very little           , in fact, it doesn't work like that
it's good for the historians and                             , but beyond that, it has very little value
the reason is that history does not, in fact, repeat itself
life is                       
every historical event is complicated
the most important aspect of historical events is not how they are the same, but how they are different
looking for                in history is more likely to lead to trouble
because we are bound to learn the            lessons
example
                       from 1936-1939
there is agreement that this was an error
but this does not mean that every bad historical actor should be                 
Stalin was arguably as wicked a human being as Hitler and may have had as many victims for which he was as responsible as Hitler, but they were not           , they were different.
they had different           
no matter how many horrible things he did to his own people, he didn't have the same                      intent in his mind
so giving concessions to him could have been perfectly good                      policy
if we say that there are no lessons, then why study history
what we learn from history is how human beings behaved in certain sets of                           
we learn how some human institutions functions in different historical situations
we gain a                understanding of humanity, of who we are
we understand a broader array of circumstances in which human beings have acted and                   
and that may, but not necessarily, lead to             
will we be able to make better decisions as a result of having                  wisdom
we hope so
and we should believe it makes a difference
Russian                     
changed not only Russia but the                world
the Nazis would not have come to power without the Russian Revolution of         
the German people were afraid of the threat of Marxism and                   
the attitude of the Western world for making social changes was greatly                  by the threat of Russian communism
in this way, Russia is very much a part of the                  world and the Western world
the greatness of Europe has been that separate national cultures have                    and responded to one another over centuries, and Russia has been very much part of this process
it's difficult to imagine European culture without Russian writers, Russian                     , and Russian musicians
and, of course, the Russians were responding to Europe
Russian history
shows extreme circumstances
it shows how human beings behaved in                            circumstances
Russian revolution was inspired by                 
the cost of the idealism
Stalin is at the dark            of Soviet history, you have to consider:
what made it possible
what live was like under it
what were its                         
how did the economy recover from the                        and terror caused by it

Ideas and Concepts:

On studying history, via this afternoon's Russian History class:

"History classes often begin by asking the question:why do we study history?

The conventional answer comes from George Santayana, and it seems to me that it is the only thing that made George Santayana famous, that those who do not study history are compelled to repeat it.

But this sentence makes little sense, in fact, it doesn't work like that. It's useful for history teachers and has become a popular meme, but beyond that, it has little value.

The reason is that history does not, in fact, generally repeat itself. Life and human societies are quite complicated, and every historical event and series of events are complicated. The most important aspect of historical events is not how they are the same, but how they are different.

Learning about historical events in different ages in different contexts, is certainly informative, but to learn lessons from them is more likely to lead to trouble, because we are bound to learn the wrong lessons."
On the likelihood that studying history will lead to the ability to make better political decisions, via this morning's Russian History class:

"So if we admit that human history is too complex and multifarious to offer us any easy lessons, then what do we learn from studying history at all?

The answer is that we learn how human beings behaved in certain sets of circumstances in the past. We learn how some human institutions functioned in different historical situations. We understand a broader array of circumstances in which human beings have acted and performed, and through this we gain a broader understanding of humanity, of who we are.

This studying of history may, but not necessarily, lead to wisdom. If it does lead to wisdom, will we be able to use this acquired wisdom to make better decisions as a result?

We hope so. We should believe that studying history makes a difference."
Russian History in Context
The Industrial Revolution and the Failure of the Russian Ruling Class