Review – Stalin: Profiles in Power; Kuromiya

Kuromiya, Hiroaki.  Stalin: Profiles in Power.  Harlow, England: Pearson, 2005.  Xviii + 227 pp.  $42.91.  ISBN 0-582-78479-4.   Hiroaki Kuromiya’s Stalin: Profiles in Power is a definitive yet concise profile of a controversial yet critically important Soviet leader.  It is small enough to make it accessible to lay-readers, yet comes from a historian with over … Continue reading Review – Stalin: Profiles in Power; Kuromiya

Soviet Historiography: Totalitarian Vs. Revisionist

The politics and socio-economic conditions within the Soviet Union during the Stalinist era is only one factor in determining the separate historiographical schools of totalitarianism verses revisionism.  Also indistinguishable are the inherent social and cultural biases of the historians who study the period, and considering the Cold War, western historians originally embraced the totalitarian school … Continue reading Soviet Historiography: Totalitarian Vs. Revisionist

Soviet Historiography – Chris Ward

When approaching the Soviet era in Russian history, one of the biggest and most contentious debates starts at the beginning of Stalin’s consolidated power – how did he rise to power?  Was he truly Lenin’s chosen heir?  Was his rise to power accidental or carefully manipulated?  These questions, as well as the competing theories over … Continue reading Soviet Historiography – Chris Ward

Proletarians and Communists

In the section entitled Proletarians and Communists, Marx and Engels speak out against claims made against communist ideology on the basis of philosophical, religions and ideological grounds.  By stating that the ruling class in every previous age has always created the ideology by which the age is dominated, Marx and Engels are making a point … Continue reading Proletarians and Communists

The Bourgeois and the Proletarians

It was interesting to see Marx and Engels refer to the bourgeois as revolutionary in their own right, seeming to place them on an equal playing field with the proletariat.  When they explained further, however, the distinctions between these two opposing revolutionary forces became clearer.  By severing relations formed under the feudal system throughout much … Continue reading The Bourgeois and the Proletarians

Continuing Conflict – Ramallah

Raja Shehadeh’s book When the Birds Stopped Singing was a pointed, passionate and heart-breaking book yet I found it incredibly informative about the perspectives of everyday Palestinians facing the aggression of the Israeli military and leadership.  It’s hard for me to imagine what it would be like to live in a literal war zone, with … Continue reading Continuing Conflict – Ramallah

The Failure of the Oslo Accords of 1993

Any peace negotiation is entirely contingent on how willing each side is to compromise, negotiate and to follow through on their agreements.  In those terms, it seems that the Oslo Accord of 1993 was doomed to fail almost before it started.  From the very beginning, Prime Minister Netanyahu (who followed Yitzak Rabin who negotiated the … Continue reading The Failure of the Oslo Accords of 1993

Israeli Politics – In the Land of Israel

If one thing can be made clear from the book In the Land of Israel, it is that the people of Israel are divided on issues of politics, with opinions, support and political affiliations all over the board, depending on the person, the area, past experiences and hope for the future.  What was surprising to … Continue reading Israeli Politics – In the Land of Israel

Hamas’ Leaflet #1 – January 1988

When an Israeli vehicle crashed in Gaza, killing four Palestinians, Arab resistance to the Israeli occupation reached new heights.[1]  There was an explosion of violence, anger and hatred, which set Israel at odds with Hamas –the Islamic Resistance Movement (Harakat al-muqawwamah al-Islamiyyah).[2]  Hamas was committed to armed conflict in order to reclaim Israel in the … Continue reading Hamas’ Leaflet #1 – January 1988