Current events have us looking to the past for explanations. How does Russian history help us to understand what is happening in Russia today? Contemporary political commentary emphasizes the recent past: the history of the Soviet Union and its collapse in 1991. This course takes a longer look at Russian political, economic, social, and cultural history - from imperial Russia to the present day. The emphasis is on longer continuities over eras: tsarist, Soviet, post-Soviet. Topics covered include the nature and role of the state, internal politics, rule of law and property rights, serfdom, inequality, art and social commentary, popular resistance, censorship, and the effects of all of these on the lives of ordinary Russians. Not offered 2023-24.