Lenin's Russia

Google Hangout Video Conference: Professor Orlando Figes answers questions on Lenin's Russia

figesFollowing his earlier talk with students on the subject of the 1917 October Revolution, Professor Orlando Figes of Birkbeck University answered questions from students at the International School of Toulouse on the topic of Lenin's rule of Russia 1918-1924.

Over the course of 45 minutes he answered a wide range of questions that the class had formulated in advance following an in-depth study of Russian history.

The video conference was broadcast live via Google Hangouts and was viewed by more than 30 schools around the world.

It followed a conversation that I had with Professor Figes about the best way to get talented young students to engage with professional historians at university and to think seriously about the exciting possibility of studying the subject in higher education.

00:35 Given Lenin's supposed commitment to sexual equality, why was Kollantai the only woman on the Politburo, and did she have any real influence anyway? (Clara, IST)
  For rights reasons, Professor Figes' answers to the following additional questions are only available to ActiveHistory subscribers.
04:35 Kamenev and Zinoviev (unlike Trotsky, Bukharin and even Stalin) are often presented in the textbooks as rather grey figures. Did they have any particularly original policy ideas of their own? (Enrique, IST)
08:55 Is it fair to say that Lenin sacrificed his ideology in order to stay in power? (Laura, IST)
14:05 How exactly did Stalin build up his power base in the years before Lenin's death? (Camille, IST)
18:45 Do you think that Lenin's decision to pursue "peace at any price" with the Germans was the right one, given that by the end of 1917 the USA had joined the war on the allied side? (Christian, IST)
23:05 Had Lenin survived, would the NEP have stayed in place as a radical new reconception of socialism, or was it merely a short-term tactical retreat? (Anna, IST)
29:30 What is your final judgement on Lenin? Hero, villain, or something in-between? (Prentice, IST)
32:40 At the time of Lenin's death, which single Politburo member do you think would have made his best successor? (Mr. Tarr, IST)

Would you like your own students to have a video conference with Professor Figes?

Professor Figes has recently launched an exciting new website where he offers opportunities for subscribing schools to conduct similar video conferences of their own with him.
These live interviews are an outstanding way to engage students with a world-renowned historian. Through such discussions, students will be able to develop their understanding of the most interesting and challenging aspects of the A-Level and IB courses. You can find out more here.

Are you a Historian interested in conducting an 'ActiveHistory Hangout' with prospective university students?

I am very keen to develop a series of these conversations with other historians to enable them to share their expertise and enthusiasm not just with my own students but also (through the video clips that result that can be shared on the web in whichever form you wish) with a wider audience of potential young historians on the verge of university. If you are interested in taking part please contact me on the ActiveHistory website feedback form or on Twitter.

Russel Tarr (@russeltarr and @activehistory on Twitter)



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ActiveHistory is the work of full-time history teacher Russel Tarr

1998-2022 Russel Tarr, Limited (Reg. 6111680)

High Park Lodge, Edstaston Wem, Shropshire, England, SY4 5RD. Telephone/Fax: 01939 233909

All rights reserved


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