Comparing Revolutions – Learning from the Arab World and the Fall of Communism Resource Page

Comparing Revolutions – Learning from the Arab World and the Fall of Communism.

As part of International Education Week, this one-session webinar will employ a comparative lens to see what lessons and questions from Russian history can inform our current thinking about political transformation in the Arab world.  Learn more about this webinar here

View a recording of this webinar


Russia and Eurasia

Did the Russians write the script for the Arab Spring?

Everything You Think You Know About the Collapse of the Soviet Union is Wrong Leon Aron in  Foreign Policy, July/Aug 2011, Issue 187, p. 64-70

Revolution’s End: Looking at the Arab Spring Through 20 Years of Post-Soviet History Susan Glasser in Foreign Policy August 8, 2011

Conference Report, “What Does the Arab Spring Mean for Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus?”  A report of the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, September 2011

Middle East

Eight Lessons from the Arab Spring

The Praxis of the Egyptian Revolution

See a full list of articles and resources on the Outreach Center page Teaching the Arab Transformation.


Russia and Eurasia

Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire by David Remnick
In the tradition of John Reed's classic Ten Days That Shook the World, this bestselling account of the collapse of the Soviet Union combines the global vision of the best historical scholarship with the immediacy of eyewitness journalism. "A moving illumination . . . Remnick is the witness for us all." —Wall Street Journal.

Autopsy on an Empire by Ambassador Jack Matlock
First posted to Moscow in 1962, Jack Matlock was America's man on the scene for most of the Cold War. Filled with portraits of the major players, including Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Reagan, and Bush, this dramatic, eyewitness account of those momentous years contains many new revelations and insights into the decisions of American policymakers.

Middle East

Messages from Tahrir

See a selection of visual and graphic arts associated with the Arab Transformation available in the Outreach Center Library Highlights Catalog.


"Goodbye Lenin!” Directed by Wolfgang Becker
The movie starts in East Germany before the fall of communism; our hero, Alex (Daniel Bruhl), describes how his mother (Katrin Sass), a true believer in the communist cause, has a heart attack when she sees him being clubbed by police at a protest. She falls into a coma for eight months--during which the Berlin Wall comes down. When she awakens, her fragile health must avoid any shocks, so Alex creates an elusive reality around his bedridden mother to convince her that communism is still alive.

“My Perestroika” by Robin Hessman*
MY PERESTROIKA follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times — from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Together, these childhood classmates paint a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionment of those raised behind the Iron Curtain.