Zenon Wasyliw

Professor, History


Global Revolutions

The Mao Years – 1949-1976

70th Anniversary https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49808078

Discussion of “Mao on Peasant Movements” and review of Chinese Revolution of 1949 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXQO9uDnevA 

1. Conditions and immediate changes, 1949-1953

2. Thought reform and reeducation

3. The Stalinist model and transition to socialism, 1953-1957

4. The Maoist model of socialist development, 1958-1960

a. “permanent revolution”

b. The Great Leap Forward https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlbB3cmgPmo 

c. People’s Communes

5. Retrenchment: the origins of market socialism, 1960-1965

6. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foDh1QqcRnY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW6L_kRkUBU

a. Red Guards: destroy the “four olds” – old ideas, culture, customs and habits

Evaluate “Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung” and http://art-bin.com/art/omaotoc.html



HIST-27300-01, Tuesday and Thursday 2:35-3:50

Zenon V. Wasyliw

Professor, Department of History

Ithaca College

Muller 427

wasyliw@ithaca.edu, 274-3303 and 274-1587                                              


Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 12:30-1:30; Thursday 1:30-2:30

I am also available other days and times by appointment through e-mail communication or by request during class meetings


Global Revolutions offers a comparative study of twentieth and twenty-first century world history through a thematic assessment of revolutions and revolutionary movements.  The course begins with a brief overview of pre-twentieth century revolutions, revolutionary theories and transformations within a global historical context. We then focus upon specific revolutions and revolutionary movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with an eye towards comparative evaluations and the search for global connectivity.  This comparative study reviews revolutionary movements beyond the western European and United States core to include cultures and civilizations of East Central Europe, Eurasia, South and Southeast Asia, the Far East, Middle East, Africa and the Americas.  The course concludes with possible revolutionary interpretations and responses to post-modern issues related to globalization, civil society, trans-nationalism, civilizational divisions and other relevant global transformations of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.  The robust and varied assigned readings also highlight revolutionary impacts on everyday life and values. Primary source readings offer mastery of the historical record and its application in evaluating respective revolutions and revolutionary movements. 

The “Topics” section of this syllabus lists, on a weekly basis, specific subjects, themes and perspectives under study. After first analyzing the underlying causes, theories and models of revolutions, we shall then evaluate specific revolutions and revolutionary movements.  Comparative revolutionary ideologies preface a closer analysis of revisionist Marxist frameworks implemented by Lenin through the Russian/Soviet revolutions concluding with the Stalinist revolution and its impact on the state and the world.  The Chinese Revolution is evaluated within the context of a further evolving revolutionary model implemented and modified by Mao, with a special emphasis placed upon evaluating the Maoist Chinese Cultural Revolution. Two assigned books evaluate the human toll and official justifications of both the Stalinist and Maoist revolutions and their results and legacy.

Other revolutionary movements under study include Gandhi’s unique anti-modernist and nonviolent path of civil disobedience and passive resistance to gain Indian independence and battle British colonialism.  We shall evaluate the value of Gandhi's model and judge its specific implementation by Martin Luther King in the United States and the United States cultural revolution of the 1960s.  The course will then follow with an overview of post-colonial revolutionary movements and life on the African continent through Chinua Achebe’s Man of the People and then specifically appraise Nelson Mandela and the South African revolutionary struggle and the implementation of a truth and reconciliation commission.  Latin America will be reviewed and evaluated with a special focus on the Cuban and other specific revolutions within a larger regional and global context. 

The Middle East (or South West Asia) provides examples of a revolutionary paradigm based upon religion and anti-modernist values. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 serves as a focal point for studying the rise and expansion of an Islamic fundamentalist revolutionary path.  Our Global Revolutions course continues with an appraisal of 1989 democratic revolutions through case studies based upon primary historical sources and later globally through an appraisal of recent “colored” revolutions through their implementation of Gene Sharp’s applied model of peaceful revolution found in his From Dictatorship to Democracy. The course concludes with reflections on current and future transnational revolutions and revolutionary trends and movements, most recently “revolutions of the square” that often transcend state borders, politics and conventional wisdom.

Books and Readings

The following books are required for this course and may be purchased at the college bookstore.

ACHEBE, Chinua. A Man of the People

GOLDSTONE, Jack. Revolutions. A Very Short Introduction

GROSSMAN, Vasily. Everything Flows.

KENNEY, Padraic.  1989 Democratic Revolution at the Cold War’s End.

SATRAPI, Mariane.  Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood.

ZHENHUA, Zhai Red Flower of China.


SHARP, Gene.  From Dictatorship to Democracy.  A Conceptual Framework for Liberation.

Found on-line at http://www.aeinstein.org/english/

198 Methods of Nonviolent Action


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights -


Additional materials will be posted on Sakai

Recommended sources for writing essays, papers and citing sources

Benjamin, Jules.  A Student’s Guide to History   

Chicago Manual of Style and other citation styles


Tips for writing history papers – Cornell University


Chicago Manual of Style – citation guide


Supplemental primary sources and handouts will also be distributed and additional relevant library holdings will be referenced. 

Additional appropriate articles and primary sources will be made available through Sakai.  Please refer to the list of internet linked sites. The sites provide valuable historical backgrounds and contexts for the specific topics under study.  This course syllabus is also found on my homepage https://www.ithaca.edu/faculty/wasyliw   

Additional internet reference links are found at the end of the syllabus


Week 1 – 22 and 24 January

Introduction, expectations and discussion

Brainstorming and defining revolution and global revolution

For discussion and debate: contemporary contexts and concerns

http://www.globalization101.org/what-is-globalization/  Globalization

The Global Village and the Global 1%






http://www.globalrichlist.com/   -


World Inequality Report - http://wir2018.wid.world/


The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy


Where the top 1% and the bottom 20% go to college


World Maps - http://geology.com/world/world-map.shtml 


http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2016/11/03/most-accurate-world-map/#.WUnO200UWM -

The occupy movement - the 99% versus the global 1% super rich


Are we in the U.S. the global 1%?


 100 People: A World Portrait


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights


For next week –

Gladstone, Revolutions. A Very Short Introduction, Chapters 1-6 (not very long)

2.  29 and 31 January

Discussion of Gladstone book -

Revolutions and revolutionaries, pp. 1-40

Pre-20th Century Revolutions, pp. 41-73

Crane Brinton – Anatomy of a Revolution


Is there a World-System?

Discussion of Fernand Braudel, “Food and Drink” and Immanuel Wallerstein, World Systems Theory - http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/wallerstein.html and globalization - http://www.globalization101.org/what-is-globalization/

For next week -

Review the ideology links found in the 5 and 7 February section. There will be group sign-ups for respective revolutionary ideologies. Groups will present and assess their selected ideology

3. 5 and 7 February

The Industrial Revolution –


Group presentations and debates -

Historical Foundations – Nineteenth century revolutionary models and theories

https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/modsbook.asp general list of primary sources

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto -

https://www.marxists.org/   Marxism


https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/1896kropotkin.asp Anarchism

https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/modsbook18.asp  Liberal Democracy

https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/modsbook17.asp  Nationalism

https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/modsbook33.asp Socialism

https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/women/womensbook.asp  Feminism

For next week -

Gladstone, Communist Revolutions, pp. 74-89

Begin reading Everything Flows and possibly start reading Red Flower of China

4. 12 and 14 February

The Russian Revolution and the creation of the USSR/Soviet Union, 1917-1921

Lenin, “What is to be Done,” http://www.fordham.edu/HALSALL/mod/1902lenin.asp

Revolutions of 1917 https://www.marxists.org/history/ussr/events/timeline/1917.htm


Soviet Union Timeline http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1112551.stm 

Ukraine Timeline - http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-18010123

A step back from revolution – The New Economic Policy and “the slow boat to communism” 1921-1928

Lenin, Testament, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/lenin-testament.asp

The Stalinist Revolution of “Socialism in One Country” and the Five Year Plan –

Stalin, On Industrialization http://academic.shu.edu/russianhistory/index.php/Stalin_on_Rapid_Industrialization

Stalin - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOI8wKFCEIA

Finish reading Everything Flows for discussion next week

Continue reading Red Flower of China

First essay related to World of Systems theme is due

5. 19 and 21 February

The Stalinist Revolution and Dictatorship - the construction of a communist industrial utopia and superpower status at what cost - purges, the gulag and Ukrainian famine or  Reflections on the Stalinist era – a discussion of Grossman’s Everything Flows around the theme of victim and perpetrator (guide questions will be distributed)

One page analysis of Everything Flows is due on the day of discussion

Continue reading Red Flower of China

Background documents on China will be distributed

6. 26 and 28 February

Inter-war Europe and the rise of totalitarianism – the Nazi racial revolution

The Second World War and the Holocaust


Revolutionary transformation in East Asia: Japan and the West http://countrystudies.us/japan/110.htm

The origins of the Chinese Revolution 

The course of the Chinese Revolution and Communal Organization


The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976

Mao’s call for “permanent revolution” and his Little Red Book of Quotations

Mao’s cult of personality


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foDh1QqcRnY  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW6L_kRkUBU

Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung http://art-bin.com/art/omaotoc.html

Finish Reading Red Flower of China

7. 5 and 7 March

Communal Presentations and a Maoist Critical Evaluation of Red Flower of China. An analysis of Mao and Maoism, the Great Chinese Cultural Revolution and the post-Mao years

Western colonialism and the periphery: Revolutionary paths towards political and cultural independence

SPRING BREAK 12 and 14 March – work on second essay

8. 19 and 21 March

Vietnamese Revolution, Southeast Asia and Korea


Vietnam War and Ho Chi Minh –


An introduction to Gandhi with primary source document evaluations

Second essay is due - comparing Stalinism, Maoism, and the Humanities

9. 26 and 28 March

Are Gandhi and non-violent civil disobedience revolutionary?

India: colonialism and the struggle for independence

Gandhi and the establishment of India and Pakistan 


A Teach-In - Martin Luther King:  non-violence, the U.S. Civil Rights movement and the American cultural revolution of the nineteen sixties: issues of race, class, ethnicity and sexual orientation

The 1960s in America -


Equal Justice Initiative - https://eji.org/racial-justice

Documents will be distributed for next week

Achebe, A Man of the People for next week

10. 2 and 4 April

African revolutions and revolutionary movements

Western colonialism in Africa and internal African revolutions: in search of stability.

The Africans: A Triple Heritage, Program 6: In Search of Stability


Long Walk to Freedom and the revolution in South Africa 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservic e/africa/features/storyofafrica/index.shtml

Remembering Chinua Achebe - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq1fr00Ru80

A Man of the People https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG_bu_e0zZU

Discussion of A Man of the People one page analysis is due

Begin discussion

Latin American documents will be distributed for next week

https://www.bbc.com/timelines/zttpfg8 Castro

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjrvKA4w9-Y Che

Begin reading Satrapi, Persepolis

11. 9 and 11 April Revolutions in Latin America, Past and Present: Revolutions in Mexico and Cuba as context for contemporary populist revolutionary movements

Discussion of primary source documents

Finish reading Persepolis for next week

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFUH7oLH0pk&list=PLjjljk6krfkzPaHwlQqX7epHt5rIhN1UJ Iranian Revolution

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFUH7oLH0pk&list=PLjjljk6krfkzPaHwlQqX7epHt5rIhN1UJ Audio Book

12. 16 and 18 April Islamic fundamentalism as a revolutionary model: The Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 and Islamic revolutionary movements. 

Discussion of Persepolis. One page reflection is due

Read for next week 1989 Democratic Revolution at the Cold War’s End

13. 23 and 25 April 1989 Democratic Revolution a classroom project in developing a historical narrative and competing historical interpretations through primary source historical documents.  Comparative developments in the Islamic world 

1989 Democratic Revolution presentations and discussions

Next week From Dictatorship to Democracy   https://www.aeinstein.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/FDTD.pdf  Audio version - https://librivox.org/from-dictatorship-to-democracy-version-2-by-gene-sharp/

14. 30 April and 2 May Complete Presentations and discussion on The 1989 Democratic Revolution at the Cold War’s End and discuss larger issues related to fall of communism and possible “new world orders,” and larger issues of globalization, human rights, neoliberalism, and reactionary movements. Are new revolutionary movements evolving? 

Discuss From Dictatorship to Democracy Anticipating future global revolutions and revolutionary movements: can we learn from and use history?


Final Examination Week and Project Presentations - Tuesday 5/7 4:30 pm - 7 pm


1. Scheduled office hours are set for Monday and Wednesday 12:30-1:30, Thursday 1:30-2:30 and by appointment additional days and times.  Please arrange appointments through e-mail: wasyliw@ithaca.edu or during our class meetings.  My office is in Muller 427.  Please stop by to discuss course material or life in general.


1. Attendance “Students at Ithaca College are expected to attend all classes, and they are responsible for work missed during any absence from class.  At the beginning of each semester, instructors must provide the students in their courses with written guidelines regarding possible grading penalties for failure to attend class. Students should notify their instructors as soon as possible of any anticipated absences. Written documentation that indicates the reason for being absent may be required. These guidelines may vary from course to course but are subject to the following restrictions:” Please carefully read the official Ithaca College attendance policy for detailed elaborations upon “1. In accordance with New York State law, students who miss class due to their religious beliefs shall be excused from class or examinations on that day. 2. Any student who misses class due to a verifiable family or individual health emergency, or to a required appearance in a court of law, shall be excused. 3. A student may be excused for participation in College-authorized co-curricular and extracurricular activities, if, in the instructor's judgment, this does not impair the specific student's or the other students' ability to succeed in the course. https://www.ithaca.edu/hs/depts/theatre/handbook/academics/attendance/     

2. Essay examinations - Each student must complete two interpretive essay examinations and a final comprehensive essay examination.  The essays are conceptual in nature and test the students' comprehension and analysis of the material covered in class and the readings. 

3. Global Revolutions project - The project must be on a subject of intense personal interest related to a larger broadly defined theme of revolution or revolutionary movements.  Creative and non-conformist topics are especially favored. Similar themed collaboration is encouraged through group projects yet individual projects are also fine.


1. A one or two paragraph introduction that includes a brief overview of the topic, why the topic was selected and a thesis statement that answers a larger question or questions and its relation to the course.

2. The presentation and submission may take the form of:

a.)        a 15 minute group presentation with outline handouts for the class

b.)        a video presentation prepared for the class, also with outline handouts

c.)        a poster presentation

d.)        a 3-5 page cited essay with a brief summary provided for the class

e.)        a speculative futurist scenario through role playing and/or media

f.)        other formats will also be considered

Final submission and presentation – Submit a 3 page narrative if you are including media or a 5 page narrative if you are not using media. Presentations will be given during our scheduled final exam day and time

4. Assessment of book assignments - A one page reflection is required for Everything Flows, Red Flower of China, A Man of the People and Persepolis on the appointed discussion day. 

5. Cooperative learning project - The course of the Chinese Cultural Revolution is assessed by group presentations and Maoist critiques of Red Flower of China.  Appointed student communes will accomplish this task with the appropriate revolutionary zeal.  A concise communal written report will also be required. More specific instructions will be forthcoming. 

6. Primary historical source evaluation - 1989 Democratic Revolution at the Cold War’s End is a collection of primary source documents.  This era will be recreated and analyzed through collaborative interpretations of these primary sources.  Groups and individuals will construct historical narratives, conceptual frameworks and reach conclusions regarding the revolutionary nature of the varied revolutions presented. 

7.  The writing of essays, critiques and papers follows specific criteria and all sources must be properly documented.  Carefully read the Ithaca College Standards of Academic Conduct found at the end of the syllabus and at the following Student Policies link –


Documentation needs to follow the Chicago Manual of Style -


Additional citation styles - https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/ 

8. The syllabus outline, topics and assignments are subject to change

"In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodations will be provided to qualified students with documented disabilities. Students seeking accommodations must register with Student Accessibility Services and provide appropriate documentation before any accommodations can be provided. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive so timely contact with Student Accessibility Services is encouraged."

9. Diminished mental health, including significant stress, mood changes, excessive worry, or problems with eating and/or sleeping can interfere with optimal academic performance. The source of symptoms might be related to your course work; if so, please speak with me. However, problems with relationships, family worries, loss, or a personal struggle or crisis can also contribute to decreased academic performance.

Ithaca College provides no-additional-cost mental health services through the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to help you manage personal challenges that threaten your personal or academic well-being.

In the event I suspect you need additional support, expect that I will express to you my concerns and the reasons for them. It is not my intent to know the details of what might be troubling you, but simply to let you know I am concerned and that help (e.g., CAPS, ICare, Health Center, Chaplains, etc...), if needed, is available.

Remember, getting help is a smart and courageous thing to do -- for yourself and for your loved ones

10. Title IX is a federal act mandating that educational institutions receiving federal funding must provide sex and gender equity. All students thus have the right to a campus atmosphere free of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and gender discrimination. For reports of sexual assault and general issues, please contact Tiffani Ziemann, Title IX Coordinator


11. Student Wellness at Ithaca College - https://www.ithaca.edu/sacl/healthpromotion/

Grading and Assessment:

All work must be completed to earn a passing grade!

Project                                                                           20%

Four book reflections and book discussions        20%

Two essay exams (15% each)                                 30%

Final essay                                                                   20%

Red Flower of China and

1989 Revolutions presentations                              10%


The above assessments meet the Ithaca College Department of

History Student Learning Outcome Assessment goals –

1. Attain factual knowledge

2. Identify, gather and use primary and secondary sources for historical inquiry

3. Demonstrate skills in communicating thesis-driven arguments based on evidence

Provided by sources, both secondary and primary

4. Demonstrate critical reading skills that recognize and analyze complexity and ambiguity in sources and historical processes

5. Demonstrate capacity for engaged, knowledgeable and competent global citizenship

6. Demonstrate desire and capacity for lifelong learning


General Sites:










World System Theory


Manifesto of the Communist Party, Marx and Engels


The Revolutionary Catechism


Globalization Theories

http://www.globalization101.org/what-is-globalization/  Globalization

World War One


Russian Revolution and the USSR

Ukrainian Famine


Europe and the Holocaust




Chinese Revolution




South Asia



U.S. Civil Rights

https://eji.org/racial-justice  Equal Justice Institute






Latin America



Middle East or Southwest Asia



Global Issues

Albert Einstein Institution  http://www.aeinstein.org

Euromaidan https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/uprising-ukraine-how-it-all-began







Integrated Core Curriculum

Global Revolutions is a humanities course that seeks to understand the human experience through analysis, interpretation, and reflection, engaging in the particulars of individual experiences, texts, or other artifacts.  We will describe and interpret the values, beliefs, and behaviors of self and others in the context of historical and contemporary cultural institutions through the lens of revolutions, revolutionary moments and revolutionaries and their impact on the human experience. 

This humanities perspective is also connected to the Ithaca College Integrative Core Curriculum themes of A World of Systems, and Power and Justice.  A World of Systems asks the question of how people make sense of and navigate complexity.  This theme is examined through aligning and recognizing aspects of daily lives occurring through a host of physical, political, economic, technological, social and creative systems at both local and global levels, and how historical thought has shaped the values we live by.  The study of revolutions compares and contrasts the creation of new systems challenging, modifying and/or supplanting existing systems and their impact on everyday life and values. 

Power and Justice asks how both power and justice are related and how they can be balanced.  Global Revolutions aligns with this theme through an examination of power structures and issues of justice that are deeply connected to both conflict and resolution through a study of revolutions that seek to change the relationship between power and justice.  The course assesses how power is historically generated, distributed, transformed and mobilized in revolutionary movements seeking justice and also serves to understand contemporary conflicts and resolutions. Special focus is given to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Identified essay questions will address either the World of Systems or Power and Justice theme. Your essay will serve as an artifact for attachment in your ICC e-portfolio.

The Writing Center aims to help students from all disciplines, backgrounds, and experiences to develop greater independence as writers.  We are committed to helping students see writing as central to critical and creative thinking. 

In a friendly, comfortable atmosphere, writers at all levels participate in one-on-one conferences with trained student and faculty tutors to work on effective strategies for all aspects of the writing process. Topics explored in these conferences may include

the generation, organization, and focusing of ideas

understanding assignments and readings

comprehensive rewriting of drafts

sentence structure and style

grammar, punctuation, and spelling

research and note-taking methods

source documentation

We offer these services for students in all disciplines: humanities and sciences, business, health sciences and human performance, communications, and music. In our conferences, we encourage students to develop confidence as independent thinkers and writers. This means that we will not revise or correct papers for students, but instead will help them learn how to do so for themselves.

Hours: Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM; Sunday through Thursday from 7 PM -10 PM.

Limited hours begin the evening of Sunday, January 27th, and regular hours begin the evening of Sunday, February 3rd.

The schedule can be viewed and appointments made by visiting   https://ithaca.mywconline.com/  or the hub at    https://apps.ithaca.edu/

Zenon Wasyliw

Professor, Department of History

China – Mao’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

China prior to the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949


The Mao Years – 1949-1976

The Chinese Revolution of 1949 and the Peoples Republic of China https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXQO9uDnevA

Communist Party organization

Major developments prior to the Cultural Revolution

1. Conditions and immediate changes, 1949-1953

2. Thought reform and reeducation

3. The Stalinist model and transition to socialism, 1953-1957

4. The Maoist model of socialist development, 1958-1960

a. The Great Leap Forward https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlbB3cmgPmo    

b. People’s Communes

5. Retrenchment: the origins of market socialism, 1960-1965

6. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976

Mao’s call for “permanent revolution” and his Little Red Book of Quotations

Mao’s cult of personality


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foDh1QqcRnY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW6L_kRkUBU

a. Red Guards: destroy the “four olds” – old ideas, culture, customs and habits

Evaluate “Quotations from Chairman Tse-Tung” and http://art-bin.com/art/omaotoc.html

1978 – Deng Xiaoping and market-economy reforms