Born in Elizavetpol (today Ganja, Azerbaijan), Nersik Stepanyan was an Armenian Bolshevik activist and Party theoretician. A participant in the Russian Revolution in the Caucasus, Stepanyan later became known for his sensitive approach toward national cultures and traditions. A fearless public intellectual, he was also the most vocal critic of Soviet Georgian leader Lavrentiy Beria within the Soviet Armenian political elite. Tragically, Stepanyan’s arrest by Beria’s men in the summer of 1936 set the stage for the Stalinist Purges in the republic. The series is hosted by historian Pietro A. Shakarian and produced by Sona Nersesyan.