Tearing down the wall : decline of socialism

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  • Did the Soviet Union collapse under external pressure or its own weight? What enabled free market forces to assert themselves in China? Is socialism dead, or has it simply evolved? This program addresses these and other questions, focusing on the political, cultural, and economic factors behind the fall of the iron curtain regimes. Outlining the Cultural Revolution and its consequences, the emergence of the Reagan and Thatcher administrations, and the backfiring of the Soviet coup in 1991, the program demonstrates in detail how governments across the world abandoned socialism-some entirely, while others have maintained a tenuous facade.


  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on May 17, 2007.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Mode of access: Internet.
  • System requirements: FOD playback platform.
  • Closed-captioned.


  • China and Britain Move Away from Socialism (2:50) -- Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev (2:37) -- Gorbachev and the Soviet Economy (3:19) -- China Under Mao (3:27) -- China: De-Collectivization and Economic Growth (3:22) -- Tiananmen Square Massacre (2:23) -- Political Reform and Glasnost (4:50) -- End of Communist Power in USSR (4:05) -- Tony Blair and the New Labor Party (5:28) -- Tony Blair: From Socialism to Capitalism (4:28) -- Is Socialism Dead? (4:54) -- Social Democracy (1:50) -- Social Democracy in Israel (3:36) -- Capitalism and the End of Israel's Kibbutzim (5:00)
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