Your study of world history and current events isn’t complete without a look at Russia. Glean some teaching tips on today’s Home School Heartbeat as Mike Farris concludes his interview with history professor Dr. David Aikman.
When you pick up a newspaper and read stories on Russia—what do you see in store for this ex-Cold War superpower? How would you tie this in to teaching Russian history in a classroom?
Dr. David Aikman:
Well, I think to understand Russian history; you have to have quite a long reach of knowledge. I’ll just give you an example: The Communist Party leader who was campaigning against Boris Yeltsin in 1996, in his manifesto, said that the big problem with Russia had started in 1054 which was the date of the great schism between eastern Christendom and western Christendom, and he said that it had been the task of the West basically to try to suffocate Russia ever since. So you’ve got a huge degree of paranoia there. I think what we’re seeing now is, after the humiliation with Russia that took place just before and just after communism fell when you had these crazy oligarchs running around and stealing from the country; you’ve got a tremendous desire by ordinary Russians for a strong, self-assertive Russia that can assume in the world something close to the position that Russia had when the Soviet Union was a superpower. And that’s going to cause quite a lot of problems for the rest of us because Russia basically is flexing its muscles.
David, I appreciate you joining me on the program this week, and I’m sure our listeners appreciate your insights just as our students here very much appreciate hearing you in depth. I’m Mike Farris.