Watch The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin

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Go inside communism’s journey from a collection of political and economic theories to a revolutionary movement that rocked the world. Rich with historical insights, these 12 episodes zero in on the Bolsheviks rise to power and how communist ideas worked in theory and practice - offering a rewarding look at one of the most important economic and political philosophies of the modern age.

The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (12 episodes). The series first aired on November 8, 2019.

Where do I stream The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin online? The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin is available for streaming on The Great Courses Signature Collection, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon online.

The Great Courses Signature Collection
1 Season, 12 Episodes
November 8, 2019
Documentary & Biography
Cast: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
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The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin Full Episode Guide

  • Follow the trajectory of Bolshevik social experiments to inaugurate a new civilization up through the death of Lenin in 1924. You'll learn about Lenin's monumental propaganda plan, which changed the appearance of Russia; the nationalist program of putting down roots; party recruitment drives and purges; and even the mummification of Lenin's body.

  • How does a revolutionary regime build a bridge to world revolution? After a look at the Third International, or Comintern, created in 1919 to spread the message of global revolution, explore failed attempts at sovietizing Hungary and Bavaria and the Soviet-Polish War of 1920, which dashed remaining hopes for linking up with Germany.

  • Spend time with one of the most famous women radicals in history: the Polish-German socialist Rosa Luxemburg. Follow her revolutionary activities throughout Switzerland, Poland, and Germany; her support of spontaneous revolt over centralized conspiracy; her struggles with the ambiguities of revolutionary devotion; and her ultimate martyrdom.

  • The Bolsheviks seized power in October 1917, a moment that would be celebrated afterward as Red October, or the Great October Socialist Revolution. Here, examine the formula for success behind the Bolshevik takeover, the mythologizing of Red October in film and music, and the dawn of a new secret police force: the Cheka.

  • With the outbreak of the First World War, Lenin (who called war an accelerator of history) had the world crisis he could turn to his advantage. Topics here include Marxist debates over the philosophies of defensism and defeatism, the arrival of Leon Trotsky and his theory of permanent revolution, and the widening rift between socialists and communists.

  • Take a detailed look at the life of Lenin, whose ideas and actions propelled him to become the first man to bring communist theory into power in 1917. Here, focus on Lenin's hardness in the face of the 1891-1892 famine, his manifesto "What Is to Be Done?", and the Bolshevik and Menshevik factions.

  • Why did a Marxist regime come to power in Russia of all places, especially when Marx considered it an unpromising place for a proletarian revolution? Professor Liulevicius tackles this question and also probes Russia's revolutionary tradition and the ideas of Georgi Plekhanov, the figure who did the most to bring Marx's teachings to Russia.

  • In the decades following the death of Marx in 1883, the socialist movement grew, but it also became highly factional over arguments about theory and organizational tactics. In this episode, learn about the rise of political parties in Germany and America, the establishment of the Second International, and the struggle over revisionism."

  • Investigate the violent upheaval of the Paris Commune in 1871: a political experiment that lasted a mere 10 weeks. The Paris Commune would make Marx one of the most feared and hated men in the world; although it failed, Marx considered it a living example of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

  • First, unpack the meaning of the revolutionary messages in "The Communist Manifesto" and "Das Kapital." Then, use a basic vocabulary of Marxist concepts to better understand Marx's model of history and economics. Last, examine how the revolutionary lives of Marx and Engels sought to unify theory with practice.

  • The revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels would rock society and soon affect the lives of millions of people. Here, explore their body of theory (known as dialectical materialism) and learn how Marxism offered something different: a tableau of history with starring roles played by the toiling masses and economic forces.

  • Come to see Lenin's arrival at Petrograd's Finland Station in April 1917 as one of the most important turning points in modern history: the establishment of a communist regime after decades of theory. Also, preview the themes you'll explore in these episodes, and get solid definitions of terms such as communism and socialism. #History