Read these requirements carefully.  Please copy them and put them with your other printed materials.


I love to read.  We will do a lot of reading in this seminar.

Required Books

        • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto
        • Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon
        • John Scott, Behind the Urals
        • Vaclav Havel, Open Letters:  Selected Writings
        • A. James McAdams, Vanguard of the Revolution:  The Global Idea of the Communist Party

Syllabus Readings:  To save you $$$, I shall post many of the course readings on this Syllabus.  I will also provide you with hand-outs.

Our class discussions will only work well if you have these readings physically in front of you.  Therefore, please remember these rules:  1) Copy and print all of the readings on this site that are marked PRINT (otherwise, you do not need to copy them);  2) Bring each required reading to class on the day we discuss it.

Please do not use Kindles and Laptops in our seminar.

Other Media. I love to look at things.  We will watch several films. We will also visit the Rare Books Room in the Hesburgh Library to see its collections of communist-era material. I have included other types of media on the Course Syllabus.  I encourage you to use visual and audio media when you lead class discussions.  Please send me the relevant photos and links beforehand, and I will post them on this Syllabus.


All of our class sessions will be based on discussion. I will give no lectures.  Each of you will have the honor of serving as a discussion leader several times during the semester.  To the extent that I am able, I will resist the  temptation to monopolize discussion.  (Please restrain me.) By the end of our class, you should not need me at all!


It is a special privilege to take a seminar.  You should treat our seminar accordingly.  Seminars are small and they allow for intimate and lively discussions.  They also provide me with the pleasant opportunity to work closely with each of you as individuals.  My aspirations are modest.  If I can enhance your ability to speak, read, write, think critically, and persuade, I shall be pleased.  These objectives are reflected in the breakdown of my grading standard.

      • Participation and Short Assignments (35%)
      • Two Reflective Essays (15% each)
      • Semester Essay (35%)


    • Paper assignments will be docked 1/3 of a letter grade for each day they are late.  To receive a passing grade in this class, you must visit me during office hours at least one time this semester.  Please do not make me sweat over your ability to live up to this arduous requirement.

      Class attendance is MANDATORY.  Unless you are ill, you must consult with me beforehand if you know you will miss a class.  If you are ill, please send me an email so that I do not worry about you.  University-approved absences are fine, but please tell me beforehand if you will be gone.

      Honor Code

      This seminar is based upon communication.  Therefore, I welcome all of the conversations you have with each other, inside or outside class.  You are perfectly welcome to discuss your readings and writing assignments with each other (with the exception of your final essay).  In fact, I encourage it. However, every writing assignment you turn in to me must be clearly, unmistakably, and unequivocally your own work!

      My Office Hours

      I enjoy meeting with all of my students, and I hope to see each of you on a regular basis.  You do not need to have specific questions about the class.  I view your education holistically, and I am interested in learning about your adventures.  I hold my office hours in 2060 Nanovic Hall.  My office hours are:

      Tuesday, 1:30-2:30, and Wednesday 2:00-4:00, as well as by appointment.

      Visit me soon!


      NOTE: Please leave your technology at home. This includes electronic devices of any kind, such as laptops, Kindles, i-Pads, I-phones, video cameras, video games, dog fences, or other personal digital devices.

      My class is a no-tweet zone. Some things are just not dignified!