10 questions I can pose about my topic
- What was the effect of Soviet Russia’s constricted social policy and expansionist military policy on the average citizen?
2. Did the historical context of Russia allow for events to occur which otherwise would not have; are Gorbachev’s objectives rooted in past insecurity?
3. Why would the Soviet military absorb so much capital away from the consumer sector of society?
4. If Gorbachev had initiated liberalization reforms more urgently, would they have been more effective?
5. What were the underlying causes of the fall of the Soviet Union?
6. Were the rest of the Great Powers anticipating a Soviet collapse?
7. How did Russia present itself to the rest of the world during the Soviet period? Did the projected image match (or belie) internal conditions?
8. Was the Soviet system doomed to fail from the beginning? If so, what could have saved it?
9. What were the specific costs and losses associated with the Soviet military expenditure?
10. Does Russia today mirror any of the aspects of imminent collapse that the Soviet Union portrayed?
Questions 1, 3, 9, and 10 are the most attractive to me as a writer.
Me & Them
In order to fully flesh out this paper, I need to give historical context and numerical figures to present an image of the Soviet Union before collapse, combined with a replication of such information for the present day. Then I need to show how these figures applied to the people of the Soviet Union to help the reader understand the cause of unrest and eventual dissolution.
Readers probably have tangential knowledge — at the very least — of Russian history. They know that the Soviet Union fell in the early 90s. They also have the internet at their disposal, which means that anything I include in my paper which they would not consider common knowledge can be researched independently. References to names make good places to start independent research, but I don’t need to give a mini-biography every time I mention a new person.