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The art of analyzing a book for the purpose of historical inquiry is an art often not addressed until graduate school, and even then, its process is often assumed by the instructor. “Four Birds, One Stone” presents goals and options for utilizing Charles Halperin’s Ivan the Terrible in the undergraduate and graduate classroom in order to teach students how to understand an author’s methodology, how to identify source types and their uses, how to evaluate an author’s argumentation, and how to recognize the organization of material, in addition to guiding students through the book’s historical content. The article provides major arguments and themes presented in Ivan the Terrible, and also suggests ways that chapters can be utilized to help students grapple with content relating to the tsar and to Muscovy. Halperin’s book supplies opportunities to introduce students to problems of historiography and other elements of historical interpretation, and this article calls attention to some of those topics. This article aims to provide instructors with ideas not only for exploring the use of Halperin’s book for instruction at both undergraduate and graduate levels, but to also consider how to better enable student engagement with the text of any secondary source.

In: Russian History