Kelsey Shober

Senior History and Political Science major at Virginia Tech. I have written blogs for multiple classes including: Twentieth Century Russia, America in the 1960s, and the History of Sexuality in America.

Solidarity, Nothing Can Stop You

By the early 1970′s many Soviet controlled cities were experiencing similar problems such as economic stagnation, food price increases, and generally low morale. The Solidarity movement in Poland  fought against these problems and promoted a non-violent and anti-communist social movement that would lead to successful and lasting changes. Solidarity’s roots began in December of 1970(…)

The Unbearable Lightness of Prague Spring

The year 1968 provided for a considerable amount of cultural and historical material all around the world. In Czechoslovakia, 1968 represents the year of the Prague Spring and the attempted liberalization of the Eastern Bloc country. During the 1960′s, De-Stalinization had begun under the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Antonín Novotný. By late 1967, Novotný(…)

For You, Comrade Women

In 1917, women took to the streets of Saint Petersburg on International Women’s Day and demanded “Bread and Peace” in what ultimately initiated the February Revolution. After the October Revolution, Vladimir Lenin made International Women’s Day an official holiday of the Soviet Union. Lenin wrote On International Women’s Day in 1920 that  “the main task [of(…)

Hunger, Desperation, and Death: Blokada of Leningrad

The Great Patriotic War, or World War II to us, was a time of resilience for the Soviet Union and would end in international power and prestige for the once backward country. The cost that the Soviets paid for victory, however, was outstanding. Our Freeze text estimates that about 8.6 million Soviet troops were killed(…)

Cultural Clash in the East

In the 1920′s Russia began the implementation of the Bolshevik ideology after their victory in the Civil War. It was a time of great change politically and economically, but the great cultural change was most important. The Bolsheviks were professional revolutionaries and they knew that they must transform “values, myths, norms, mores, aesthetics, popular images,(…)

Bolsheviks and Basmachi in the Muslim East

  The Civil War that occurred in Russia following the 1917 Revolution is often remember as the “Reds” vs. the “Whites”.  The “Reds”, or the Red Army of the Bolsheviks may have seemed like the unlikely winner, but they would eventually prevail in the Civil War. There are many reasons that the Reds were able(…)

War, Revolution, and the Sins of Nicholas II

The Russian Revolutions of 1917 lead to one of the most decisive events of the Twentieth Century for Russia and the international community as a whole. The Revolutions that occurred in February and October were a long time coming and fundamentally changed the social, political, and economic structures in a country that had spent hundreds(…)

Rise and Fall of Sergei Witte

Count Sergei Witte was possibly one of the most influential of all policy makers before, during and after the 1905 Revolution. A true academic, he originally wanted to pursue a career as a professor, but after his noble family deemed his choice unacceptable, he found work in controlling the railroads. He eventually became the Director(…)

The Empire Moves West

Hello, fellow Soviet History classmates and everyone else on the internet. For our first blog entry we were given a common topic, ‘The Empire That Was Russia’, but in the unique context of the 1907-1915 photograph collection of the talented Sergei Mikailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. The most interesting aspect of Gorskii’s collection is probably the most obvious;(…)