These are informal reflections. There is no minimum length for reading responses, but try to keep it to a few paragraphs.

This reading response will be a special case, since you can pick any readings to respond to. The goal here is to have you identify aspects of the readings that struck you, either negatively or positively, so that we have an idea of what you’re taking away from the readings. Try to specify why you had these impressions and, where possible, focus on some idea/hypothesis/argument that youd like to make observations about.

Here is some guidance for what you may choose to focus on for, e.g., the Synder reading:

1. What does Snyder mean by the politics of inevitability and the politics of eternity?
2. What are Ivan Ilyin’s essential assumptions and how do they cohere into a worldview?
3. How is totalitarianism characterized – is it necessarily associated with a single and particular ideology?
4. What is the nature of the relationship between the individual and the crowd/mass on Ilyin’s view?
5. Why does Snyder believe that it matters what beliefs guide leaders and what beliefs guide followers?

You do not need to address all or any of these, if some other aspect of the Synder or the other readings seem more interesting to you.