Russia: A Proposed Online Textbook

An imposing enigma in the West, at the start of the twenty-first century Russia remains one of the key players in the unfolding story of world history.  Little understood, Russia and its millennium-and-half long history are rarely studied in American classrooms.

At, it is our firmly held belief that ignorance in its many forms is the root of conflict.  With this in mind, we are seeking funding and partners for our most ambitious project yet – a free online textbook dedicated to Russia, its history, its culture, and its people, aimed at American students and complete with engaging exercises and activities.

Like most lessons on, this textbook will be researched as much as possible in person and in country, with a month long research trip through the Russian Federation planned for Summer 2018.  A specific itinerary is in development as we correspond with Russian counterparts and evaluate our available funds.

But we need your help to make this happen!  We seek $8,000 USD in sponsorship and grant funds to complete the research and production of Russia: A Free, Open Textbook. As of this writing, we have secured 10% of our funding, and hope that you might consider moving us closer to our goal.

Organizations or individuals who believe in the value of this mission and who are interested in providing financial or material support for this project should contact Thomas Kenning, Chief of Content.

A preliminary outline of Russia: A Free, Open Textbook includes the following sections, to be researched in person, in Russia in Summer 2018:

  • Early history
    • Slavic Heritage
    • Kievan Rus: The Viking Kingdom (882–1283)
    • The Orthodox Church in Russian History
    • The Mongols Attack (1223–1240)
  • Grand Duchy of Moscow (1283–1547)
  • Tsardom of Russia (1547–1721)
    • Ivan IV, the Terrible
    • Time of Troubles
    • Life in Russia Under the Tsars
  • Imperial Russia (1721–1917)
    • Peter the Great and the Founding of St. Petersburg
      • A Guided Tour of St. Petersburg
    • Expanding East While Facing West
    • The Many Peoples of Empire
    • Catherine the Great
    • Alexander II and the Abolition of Serfdom
    • Russian Literature, Music, and Art through the Nineteenth Century
    • The Rise of the Bolsheviks
    • The Russian Revolution
  • Soviet Union (1922–1991)
    • Lenin and the Founding of the Soviet Union
    • Reinventing Russian Life Under Communism
    • Five Year Plans Toward Progress
    • Stalin, Purges, and Persecution in the Name of Unity
    • The Gulag
    • Victory Day: How The Soviet Union Beat the Nazis in World War II
    • Was the Cold War One Big Mistake?: Understanding Soviet Motivations
    • The Space Race: A Projection of Power
    • Soviet Art and Symbols
    • Everyday Life in the Soviet Union
    • Glastnost and Perestroika
  • Russian Federation (1991–present)
    • Breakup of the Union
    • Boris Yeltsin and the New Russia
    • The Rise of Putin
    • Life under International Sanctions
    • Russian National Symbols and Soviet Nostalgia
    • How Russia Sees the World Today
    • The Natural Wonders of Russia
  • Russian Abroad
    • The Russian American Experience
    • Russia in American Popular Culture