1. What conditions following World War I promoted the decline rather than the rise of democracy?
  2. Though it was based on Marxism, Bolshevism in fact had some significant differences from it. What were they?
  3. How did the Bolsheviks survive the combination of foreign invasion and internal insurgency during the early years following the 1917 revolution?
  4. What was the intention behind the founding of the USSR? What held the union together?
  5. What were the causes of the struggle between Trotsky and Stalin? What major issues were involved?
  6. What did Stalin mean by "socialism in one country"?
  7. Explain why Stalin's collectivization of agriculture "represented a revolution far more immediate than that of 1917."
  8. Explain the changes in Russia's foreign policy during the 1930s. How do you account for these changes? How do these changes represent a conservative trend in the Communist regime?
  9. Describe the Russian constitution of 1936. How did it actually work?
  10. What was the significance of Stalin's purges of the 1930s?
  11. What were the principal accomplishments of the Soviet regime by 1939? What were its negative aspects?
  12. How did the First World War contribute to revolution in Italy?
  13. What were the chief elements of Fascist theory?
  14. By what means did Mussolini enlist the support, and at the same time maintain control of, labor?
  15. To what extent did fascism in Italy solve the problems that provided the fertile ground for its rise?
  16. Describe the constitution of the Weimar Republic. What difficulties imperiled its survival?
  17. What economic problems and policies of the 1920s contributed to the failure of a democratic regime in Germany?
  18. Describe the circumstances under which Hitler came to power in Germany.
  19. What was the place of anti-Semitism in the Nazi ideology and political program?
  20. Compare German Nazism with Italian Fascism.
  21. What evidence supports the assertion that "fascism and Nazism were extreme expressions of tendencies prevalent in all industrialized countries"? Do you accept the assertion?
  22. What is meant by deflation as an economic policy? Why did its application in France and Britain antagonize the working class?
  23. Cite examples of policies by Western governments to deal with the Great Depression that might be termed "economic nationalism."
  24. What were the economic reforms brought about in France by the Popular Front government of Lon Blum?
  25. What were the objectives of the New Deal in the United States? In what area was it least successful?
  26. Briefly describe the leading characteristics of twentieth-century Western philosophy.
  27. Explain the meaning and appeal of Logical Positivism.
  28. Existentialism postulates man's existence as a free individual. Why is it nevertheless basically pessimistic?
  29. What was John Maynard Keynes's prescription for making capitalism work?
  30. Compare the two schools of musical expressionism, atonality and polytonality.
  31. In what directions and to what extent was art affected under totalitarian regimes?
  1. Investigate any of the following:
      a. The rise of Hitler
      b. The Russian purges of 1936-1938
      c. Jean-Paul Sartre's existentialism
      d. The origins and achievements of the Popular Front in France
      e. The career of Mussolini
      f. The Soviet Five-Year Plans
  2. Twentieth-century totalitarianism repudiated democracy. Yet in spite of their opposition to each other, these two ideologies shared certain common nineteenth-century roots. Explore these common roots, and how they diverged into such differing ideologies.
  3. It is sometimes said that the nature of the Weimar Republic left Germany vulnerable to Nazi attack. Do you agree? Study the history of the Republic and the nature of its constitution in attempting to deal with this issue.
  4. The term "Nazi" was derived from the German word Nationalsozialistische. Was the Nazi movement really "socialistic" in character?
  5. Compare the actualities of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia with Marx's theory of revolution.
  6. Study the conflict between Stalin and Trotsky. Try to determine to what extent it was ideological and to what extent personal.
  7. Read one of the major examples of literature mentioned in the chapter. Analyze its philosophical implications, trying to determine what view it presents of human nature, human relations, and humanity's place in the universe.
  8. Explore disillusionment as a theme in early-twentieth-century Western culture. Examine the extent to which it influenced writers and artists. You might wish to speculate on the impact of their works on popular attitudes, and the possible ways in which their works mirrored such attitudes.


W.W. Norton
REVIEW: World Civilizations
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