Education: Expelling The Ghosts of Marx and Lenin

Soviet bloc schools embrace freedom and reform

His normally fidgety students were riveted when Moscow history teacher Andrei Isayev turned the tables on the Russian Revolution. Isayev first took down all the pictures of Lenin in his tenth-grade classroom. Then he told his students that the 1917 Revolution, which had been taught for decades as holy writ, was not so glorious as their government-issued textbooks had portrayed it. The students proved to be fast learners. "Lenin was a dark personality," one of Isayev's pupils says, when a Western visitor asks him about the founder of the modern Soviet state. He made "big mistakes" and caused "a catastrophe."

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