HSE Academic Wins Prize of Dinasty Foundation
Stalin: Zhizn odnovo vozhdya or Stalin: New Biography of A Dictator by Oleg Khlevniuk, Leading Research Fellow at the International Centre for the History and Sociology of WWII and Its Consequences, has won the Prosvetitel [Enlightener] 2015 Prize for Biography.
‘This book will be of no interest to the authors of Inoi Stalin - The Other Stalin, Podlye mify o Staline - Sordid Myths about Stalin, Stalin Veliki - Stalin the Great, Rossiya za Stalina - Russia for Stalin, Nastolnaya kniga Stalinista - The Stalinist’s Handbook, Ubistva Stalina - The Murder of Stalinand other similar works and their readers,’ warns Oleg Klevniuk in his foreword. ‘I wrote this for people like me, who want to understand Stalin and his era and the nature and logic of the Soviet dictator’s actions which have had such an enormous influence over our country’s development.’
Khlevniuk explains that his book is ‘the result of a long study of the 1920s-1950s period in Soviet history - the Stalin years’. In an interview with the website postnauka he said, ‘Like other historians, when I looked at the history of institutions and the history of major events the question kept arising, how did happen? Why was it like this and not otherwise? The documents often presented an irrefutable answer, because Stalin decided it would be so.’ The logic of my work led me to examine the dictator’s personality, to try to understand what kind of person Stalin was, how he was formed as a politician and won undivided power, what role he played in the destinies of the country, how his view of the world, his interests, preferences and prejudices influenced politics on a grand scale. In general, if you want to learn about what we call the subjective factor, write a biography of the country’s leader.’
The author based his work entirely on verified sources, including archives - from original copies of speeches and Stalin’s own writings, to his correspondence with Politbureau members and registers of visitors to his office in the Kremlin.
Klevniuk’s book is published in English by Yale University Press under the title Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator.
On September 30, Stephen Riegg, Assistant Professor of History of the Texas A&M University, presented his book Russia’s Entangled Embrace: The Tsarist Empire and the Armenians, 1801-1914 at the first seminar of this year’s Boundaries of History series.We spoke with Professor Alexander Semyonov, the seminar chair and the Director of the HSE Centre for Historical Research, about the goals of the seminar and to Stephen Riegg about his research.
The English-language course ‘Europe and the World, ca. 1500 to 1914’ has launched on Coursera. Its author, Andrey Iserov, Deputy Dean for International Affairs at the HSE Faculty of Humanities, examines a historical span of four centuries during which European states reached the peak of their economic, military, and political power. Students of the course will learn how the independence of Hispanic America by the mid-1820s influenced China, what caused the religious schism in Western Christianity in the 16th century, and how European colonial policy developed.
This summer, the HSE Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and Its Consequences was reorganized to become the HSE Institute for Advanced Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies. Oleg Budnitskii, Doctor of Historical Sciences, head of the Centre and director of the Institute, talked to the HSE News Service about the new division.
The collective volume Place and Nature: Essays in Russian Environmental History, co-edited by David Moon, Nicholas B. Breyfogle, and HSE researcher Alexandra Bekasova, was recently presented at a seminar of the Laboratory for the Environmental and Technological History of the Centre for Historical Research at HSE – St. Petersburg. The book is one of the fruits of a networking project carried out in 2013-2016 with active participation of HSE researchers.
On March 28-31, 2021, the HSE International Laboratory ‘Russia’s Regions in Historical Perspective’ held an international conference ‘The Russian Far East: Regional and Transnational Perspectives (19th -21st cent.)’. The event was jointly organized by the Laboratory with the German Historical Institute Moscow, Indiana University Bloomington (USA), and the Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of the Peoples of the Far East FEB RAS (Vladivostok).
The recently launched Master's Programme in Medieval Studies is the only Master’s degree in Russia fully dedicated to medieval studies. HSE News Service spoke with Juan Sota, a second-year student of the programme, about its unique features, interacting with professors, and his research interests and aspirations.
On February 9, the HSE International Laboratory 'Russia’s Regions in Historical Perspective' hosted Janet Hartley (London School of Economics), who presented her recent monograph The Volga: A History of Russia’s Greatest River. The presentation was part of a joint lecture series between the Laboratory and The Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation. HSE news service spoke with Janet Hartley about her interest in Russia, her experience travelling and doing research in Russia, and the books she has written on Russia.
After June 1941, the Soviet budget was no longer the same. Marking the end of peaceful life, budget revenues dwindled, and the Treasury was drained of billions of rubles. But because the war required money, the government had to find it from somewhere. Oleg Khlevnyuk, Professor at the HSE University’s School of History, examines the Soviet Union’s wartime and post-war financial policies in his paper.
Russian women who associated with Soviet allies during World War II were subjected to unusually harsh persecution. This was especially true in the north of the country that saw the arrival of thousands of U.S. and British sailors. For having contact with these foreigners, Soviet women received the same severe punishment meted out to Nazi collaborators: charges of treason and 10 years in a forced labour camp. HSE Associate Professor Liudmila Novikova studied how and why this policy shaped their destinies.
Isabelle R. Kaplan, a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and Its Consequences, talks about her research on non-Slavic minorities in the Soviet Union in an interview to the HSE Look.