Mark your calendar, Spring '20 Splash will be on March 8, 2020!

Splash Biography

NICHOLAS PINGITORE, UC Berkeley junior studying modern history.

Major: History

College/Employer: UC Berkeley

Year of Graduation: 2020

Picture of Nicholas Pingitore

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I'm a UC Berkeley junior studying Early Modern and Modern European History. I am particularly interested in the Cold War, the history of Foreign Policy, Social and Religious History. I was born in Oakland, California and attended Oakland Tech. I love to cook, speak the languages I know, and learn ones I don't. I love history. The intellectual and moral lessons one can learn from the past are infinite. In studying history one is shown the range of our great human drama, from abject tragedies to ringing successes, with a lot of quirky weirdness along the way that makes it all the more relevant.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

O555: The Rise and Fall of The Soviet Union in Splash Spring 19 (Mar. 16, 2019)
Few words in world history have meant so many different things to so many different people as the simple noun "communism." Today, that word is synonymous with Russia, or better yet, its former name– the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR. For some, the USSR conjures up images of revolutionaries, freedom fighters, and defeaters of fascism for others, it brings memories of dictators and genocides. But unanimously, the USSR is remembered as one of the major powers and main characters of the 20th century. Attempting to keep politics aside, what is the history of this remarkable 20th century phenomenon, that was born and died in the span of one human life? How did communism, which began as an economic and political critique, written by the German philosopher Karl Marx, morph into a worldwide movement proselytized from (of all places) an Eastern city sitting on the Volga River? Communism was adapted as a system of government by Lenin, and went on to form the ideological and organizational backbone of the Soviet Union, later spreading to states like Vietnam, Cuba and even today's growing great power, China. How did Russia change from a feudalist agrarian backwater to the USSR, one of the world’s preeminent industrial and nuclear powers in under thirty years? What important international roles did the USSR play throughout the 20th century? How did it change throughout the course of its existence, and what does its legacy still mean today?