Great leaders are often the focus of debate, and it’s not unusual for their reputations to wax and wane over time. We polled history teachers to find out which leaders they would be most interested to see featured; you'll find Churchill, Stalin, Thatcher, and Napoleon below, and Castro and Cromwell are in the works.

The programme for each leader has an interactive video with two competing historical interpretations, one praising and one critical, pdf packs with 20 sources for students to explore digitally or for you to print, a question which can be debated at the end of the week, and a PowerPoint lesson plan.

Great Leaders: Week


Here are some further reading suggestions, covering a range of interpretations:


Robert Tucker, Stalin in Power (1990)

Isaac Deutscher, Stalin: A Political Biography (1949)

O Figes, The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia (2007)

S S Montefiore Stalin, The Court of the Red Tsar (2003)

Sheila Fitzpatrick, Stalin’s Peasants (1994)

Sheila Fitzpatrick, Education and Social Mobility in the Soviet Union 1921-1934 (1979)

D. Filtzer, Soviet Workers and Stalinist Industrialization (1986)

Stephen Kotkin, Magnetic Mountain (1995)


You can also read our blog posts offering a range of perspectives on Stalin, here and here.


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Great Leaders: Week

Fidel Castro

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