November 7th marked the hundredth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, the more memorable of the pair of uprisings known collectively as the Russian Revolution. Just seven months after Romanov tsar, Nicholas II, was forced to abdicate as a result of the February Revolution, Vladimir Lenin’s marginal socialist Bolshevik party overthrew the Provisional Government in a bloodless coup. The seventy-four years of Soviet rule that followed – responsible for the deaths of millions of Russian citizens – go a long way to explaining the controversy that surrounded this year’s centenary.

Whilst much of Europe reflected on the events of 1917 with apparent nostalgia, official commemorations in Russia were notably sparse. The day marking Lenin’s triumph over the Provisional Government has not been a national holiday since 2004 – when Vladimir Putin wiped it from the Russian calendar – yet this month the veracity of the President’s motives came under fire.

Given the unprecedented suffering caused under both Lenin, and later Stalin’s, communist regimes, what do Russians today believe is the most appropriate way to commemorate the Russian Revolution of 1917?

For an analysis of this topic we use the Socratic method – a form of argumentative dialogue developed in the 5th century BCE, which is a perfect example of critical thinking – to consider issues from the viewpoints of various interested parties.

What can we learn from applying the Socratic method to the debate surrounding the appropriate Russian response to this year’s centenary?

  Catalonia became a dominant part of the international news in late 2018, following clashes between state-employed police and Catalonia residents during and following the regional referendum of October 1st 2017. Europe expressed shock at reports of violence towards people apparently exercising their democratic rights in a European...

Not all books age well.

Even books that transcend their time are dated by it, and there’s certainly plenty in Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan that feels a little worse for wear, from the Kingdom of Darkness to Christian Principalities and Commonwealths.

But what makes Hobbes’ masterpiece so special is how relevant many of its concepts remain today. The book still offers a useful prism through which to understand contemporary events.


It happens every year, thousands of young people across the country descend into completely justified panic: its university application season.

For this reason, we thought we would put together some top tips as you approach what is one of the strangest and most important hurdles in your academic career in the hope of helping you pre-empt the bits that could trip you up.


We’ve all done it, told a little white lie that we have read something, either because we can’t be doing with having to hear a synopsis, or, more commonly, because we think we are going to be judged for not having done so.

Why though? Why should we ever feel that as an English speaking person we are expected to have got through certain books in order to be considered a well-rounded person? Is there ever a ‘most important part’ of the reading list of life, books that have influenced our culture so much that we missing out on some deeper development by neglecting to engage with them?

snobby lady