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History 4375: Special Topics G. Shanafelt -- Cooke 209A Fall 1995 Phone: 691-6270; home: 677-6959 McMurry University Office hours: MWF 10-12, 2-3; Abilene, TX TTh 8:30-10; and by appt.
E. Garrison Walters, The Other Europe: Eastern Europe to 1945
Edward Crankshaw, The Fall of the House of Habsburg
Joseph Rothschild, Return to Diversity, 2nd edition
Ivo Andric, The Bridge on the Drina
Course Requirements: The subject of this course is Eastern Europe. While this term is open to all sorts of definitions, the course will define it as, roughly, the area of Europe east of Germany and west of Russia. The events in this area which fill the newspaper headlines today are scarcely comprehensible without reference to the area's complex, fascinating, and often tragic history. This course will attempt to introduce the main forces and personalities that shaped Eastern European history in the past, and continue to shape it today.
Your grade in the course will be computed from three noncomprehensive tests and an 8-page paper. For the latter, you'll choose one of the modern states of Eastern Europe, discuss the problems it faces since the collapse of communism, and, based on an assessment of its past historical record, analyze its prospects of overcoming them. The paper and the three tests will each be weighted 25% of your total grade.
Proposed Class and Reading Schedule
Aug 31 Introduction: The "Lands Between" Sept 5 Origins Walters, 1-25 Sept 7 Arpads and Hussites Sept 12 The Turkish Wave Walters, 25-46 Sept 14 The Rise of the Habsburgs Crankshaw, 3-15 Andric, 13-81. Sept 19 Enlightenment and Revolution Crankshaw, 19-45 Sept 21 Absolutism and Liberalism Walters, 110-131 Andric, 82-112 Sept 26 1848: Springtime of the Peoples Walters, 47-90 Sept 28 The Road to the Ausgleich Crankshaw, 169-230 Oct 3 From Austria to Austria-Hungary Crankshaw, 233-320 Oct 5 Fin de Siècle Vienna Andric, 113-223 Oct 10 Shtetls and Stock Exchanges Oct 12 FIRST TEST Oct 17 Balkan Ferment Walters, 90-109 Oct 19 Sarajevo Crankshaw, 323-389 Andric, 224-314 Oct 24 World War I Walters, 132-149 Oct 26 1919: The New Europe Crankshaw, 390-419 Oct 31 The Twenty Years' Truce Rothschild, 3-24 Nov 2 Winners: Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania Walters, 150-188, 219-250 Nov 7 Losers: Hungary, Bulgaria, Albania Walters, 205-218, 251-269 Nov 9 Masaryk's Czechoslovakia Rothschild, 25-75 Nov 14 World War II Walters, 270-307 Nov 16 SECOND TEST Nov 21 The Communist Takeovers Rothschild, 76-123 Walters, 308-363 [Thanksgiving Vacation] Nov 28 Stalin's Eastern Europe Rothschild, 124-190 Nov 30 From Nagy to Dubcek Dec 5 PAPERS DUE Dec 5 The First Cracks: Poland and Hungary Rothschild, 191-265 Dec 7 1989 Dec 12 Disaster: Yugoslavia Dec 14 Conclusion: Plus Ca Change...? THIRD TEST
Comments on the above: The next time I teach the course, I will probably change most of the books. The problem is finding the right mix of readings, and I'm not satisfied with what I have here. I am still looking for a single text that would cover the whole time span of the course, rather than using Walters for the period to 1945 and Rothschild for the time since. R. Okey's brief text has not been updated to cover the events of the 1980s, and when I used it two years ago, the students found it pretty heavy going. The best survey seems to be Wandycz' Price of Freedom, but it doesn't include the Balkans: which would be no problem if it could be supplemented with, say, Stavrianos' old standby, The Balkans, 1815-1914. But like many old standbys on Eastern Europe, Stavrianos is out of print. Walters proved to be competent but dull, while Crankshaw lost the students in its detail. I've read Andric several times and find more in it at each reading; the students liked it but needed a fair amount of guidance to appreciate just how good it is. My ideal syllabus would have a solid text to anchor the course, and then a number of monographs, novels, or periodical articles on specific aspects. I've now taught the course twice in a two-year rotation, but I'm still looking for that optimum mix. --GS, May 1996
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