Michael David-Fox

Michael David-Fox


Michael David-Fox is a historian of modern Russian and Soviet history. He has published widely on the political, cultural, and intellectual history of late imperial Russia and the Soviet Union. He has strong interests in transnational and comparative history and in the history of Russian-German relations, broadly conceived. David-Fox is now working on the history of the Nazi occupation of the USSR during World War II and the history of Stalinism and German occupational rule in one region, Smolensk.

David-Fox has been a Humboldt Fellow (Germany), a visiting professor at the Centre russe, EHESS (France), and holds the title of honorary professor at Samara State University (Russia). He has been a visiting scholar or fellow at the W. Averill Harriman Institute at Columbia University, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, the Mershon Center for Studies in International Security and Public Policy, the National Academy of Education, the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

David-Fox is a founding and executive editor of the journal Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian Studies, based at Georgetown. In 2010 he received the Distinguished Editor Award of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.

David-Fox maintains scholarly interests in source criticism, historiography, and the history of Russian Studies. In his writing and his teaching, he delights in establishing and probing often unexpected connections: between culture and politics, institutions and mentalities, or domestic and international developments.

Areas of Expertise: Soviet Union, Russia, communism, Stalinism, National Socialism, Russian-German relations, cultural history, political history, transnational history, cultural diplomacy, intellectual history, intelligentsia, modernity, ideology

  • Ph.D. (1993) Yale University, History
  • A.B. (1987) Princeton University, History and Russian Studies



In progress: “Smolensk under Nazi and Soviet Rule.”

Showcasing the Great Experiment: Cultural Diplomacy and Western Visitors to the Soviet Union, 1921-1941. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012 (396 pp.). Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2012. Paperback, Feb. 2014. 

Vitriny Velikogo eksperimenta: Kul’turnaia diplomatiia Sovetskogo Soiuza i ego zapadnye gosti 1921-1941 [Authorized Russian translation of Showcasing the Great Experiment, with new preface]. Moscow: NLO Publishers, Historica Rossica series, forthcoming 2014. In press.

Chinese translation of Showcasing the Great Experiment.

Crossing Borders: Modernity, Ideology, and Culture in Soviet Russia. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, Pitt Series in Russian and East European Studies, forthcoming spring 2015. In press.

Revolution of the Mind: Higher Learning among the Bolsheviks, 1918-1929. Ithaca: Cornell University Press and Studies of the Harriman Institute, 1997. ACLS Humanities E-book, 2012 (http://www.humanitiesebook.org/intro.html)

II. Edited Volumes

Co-editor with Peter Holquist and Alexander Martin, The Holocaust in the East: Local Perpetrators and Soviet Responses (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, Feb. 2014). Pitt Russian and East European Studies and Kritika Historical Studies. Author of Preface, “The Holocaust as a Part of Soviet History.”

Co-editor with Peter Holquist and Alexander Martin, Fascination and Enmity: Russia and Germany as Entangled Histories, 1914-1945 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012). Russian and East European Studies and Kritika Historical Studies series. Author of introduction, “Entangled Histories in the Age of Extremes.”

Co-editor with Peter Holquist and Alexander Martin, Orientalism and Empire in Russia (Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2006), Kritika Historical Studies. Author of Introduction: “Russia’s Orient, Russia’s West.”

Co-editor with Peter Holquist and Marshall Poe, After the Fall: Essays on Russian and Soviet Historiography after Communism (Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2004), Kritika Historical Studies. Author of introduction and afterword.

Co-editor with Peter Holquist and Marshall Poe, The Resistance Debate in Russian and Soviet History, Kritika Historical Studies (Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2003). Co-author of introduction and author of commentary piece, “Whither Resistance?”

Editor, Amerikanskaia rusistika: Sovetskii period [American Russian Studies: The Soviet Period].Samara: Izdatel’stvo Samarskii Universitet [Samara University Press, Russia], 2001.  375 pp. Paperback edition, 2001. Author of chap. 1 [see Articles and Book Chapters # 15 below]

Editor, Amerikanskaia rusistika: Imperatorskii period [American Russian Studies: The Imperial Period]. Samara: Izdatel’stvo Samarskii Universitet [Samara University Press, Russia], 2000. 331 pp. Author of Chap. 1 [see Articles and Book Chapters # 14 below] 

Co-editor with György Péteri, Academia in Upheaval: Origins, Transfers, and Transformations of the Communist Academic Regime in Russia and East Central Europe. Co-author of introduction (pp. 3-38) and chapter 3 [see Articles and Book Chapters #13 below] Westport, CT and London: Bergin & Garvey (Greenwood Publishing Group), 2000. 352 pp. Paperback edition: Information Age Publishing, 2007.

III. Edited Journal Special Theme Issues 

“The Soviet Gulag: New Research and New Interpretations,” special theme issue in preparation for Kritika 16, 1 (2015).  

“In the Shadow of the Holocaust: Soviet Jewry and Soviet Society in World War II,” special theme issue in preparation for Kritika 15, 3 (2014).

“Enmity and Fascination: Russia and Germany as Entangled Histories, 1914-1945,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 10, 3 (summer 2009). Author of introduction, “Entangled Histories in the Age of Extremes” (pp. 415-22).

“Imagining the West in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union,” Kritika 9, 4 (2008). Author of introduction, “Passing through the Iron Curtain” (pp. 703-709).

“Circulation of Knowledge and the Human Sciences in Russia,” Kritika 9, 1 (Winter 2008). Author of introduction, “Journeés d’études internationales” (pp. 1-7).

“Subjecthood and Citizenship From Alexander II to Brezhnev,” Kritika7, 3 (Summer 2006). 

“The New Political History,” Kritika 5, 1 (Winter 2004). Co-author of introduction, “New Wine in New Bottles?” (pp 1-6)

Political Violence in Russia and the Soviet Union” Kritika 4, 3 (Summer 2003). Author of introduction, “Violence, ‘Political’ Violence, and Terror in Russian History” (pp 485-90)

“Negotiating Cultural Upheavals: Cultural Politics and Memory in 20th-Century Russia,” Kritika 2, 3 (Summer 2001). Author of commentary, “Cultural Memory in the Century of Upheaval: Big Pictures and Snapshots” (pp 601-613).

“The State of the Field: Russian History Ten Years After the Fall,” Kritika 2, 2 (Spring 2001). Author of introduction, “A Remarkable Decade” (pp 229-32).

“Resistance to Authority in Russia and the Soviet Union,” Kritika 1, 1 (Winter 2000). Author of commentary, “Whither Resistance?”(pp 161-66).

IV. Articles, Book Chapters

“Illusions of Influence and the Mystique of Power: The Fellow-Travelers and Stalin as Philosopher-King,” in Ideological Storms: Intellectuals and the Totalitarian Temptation, ed. Vladimir Tismaneanu and Bogdan Iacob (Budapest: CEU Press, forthcoming, 2015).

“Reflections on Stalinism, War, and Violence” [in Russian: “Razmyshleniia o stalinizme, voine i nasilii”], in Oleg Budnitskii, ed., SSSR vo Vtoroi mirovoi voine: Okkupatsiia. Kholokost. Stalinizm [The USSR in the Second World War: Occupation. Holocaust. Stalinism], (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2014): 176-195.

“The Iron Curtain as Semi-Permeable Membrane: The Origins and Demise of the Stalinist Superiority Complex,” in Cold War Crossings: International Travel and Exchange Across the Soviet Bloc, 1940s-1960s, ed. Patryk Babiracki and Kenyon Zimmer (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2014): 14-39. 

“Nastuplenie na universitety i dinamika stalinskogo Velikogo pereloma (1928-1932 gody)” [The Attack on the Universities and the Dynamics of the Stalinist Great Break], in Aleksandr Dmitriev, ed., Raspisanie peremen: Ocherki istorii obrazovatel’noi i nauchnoi politiki v Rossiiskoi imperii-SSSR (konets 1880-x—1930-e gody) [Schedule of Changes: Essays in the History of Educational and Scientific Policy in the Russian Empire/USSR (End of 1880s-1930s)] (Moscow: NLO, 2012): 523-563. Revised and authorized translation of #13.

“The Implications of Transnationalism,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 12, 4 (Fall 2011): 885–904, for special issue on “Twenty Years After: The State of the Field.”

“Opiate of the Intellectuals? Pilgrims, Partisans, and Political Tourists,”Kritika 12, 3 (Summer 2011): 723-40.

“Religion, Science, and Political Religion in the Soviet Context,” Modern Intellectual History 8, 2 (2011): 471-84.

“‘Russia and the West’ in a Soviet Key: Theodore Dreiser’s Russian Diary,” in Religion and National Identity in Russia and the Soviet Union, ed. Nicholas Chrissidis et al. (Bloomington: Slavica, 2011): 227-48.

“Transnational History and The East-West Divide,” Chap. 12 (Conclusion) to Imagining the West in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, ed. György Péteri (Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press, 2010): 258-69.

“Annäherung der Extreme: Die UdSSR und rechtsradikalen Intellektuellen” [When Extremes Touch: Soviet Courtship of Radical Right-Wing Intellectuals], Osteuropa 59, 7-8 (2009): 115-124, for special issue on the 70th anniversary of the Hitler-Stalin Pact.

“Multiple Modernities vs. Neo-Traditionalism: On Recent Debates in Russian and Soviet History,”Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 55, 4 (2006): 535-555.

“Leftists versus Nationalists in Soviet-Weimar Cultural Diplomacy: Showcases, Fronts, and Boomerangs,” in Susan Gross Solomon, ed., Doing Medicine Together: Germany and Russia between the Wars (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006): 103-158.

“Troinaia dvusmyslennost’. Teodor Draizer v sovetskoi Rossii (1927-1928): Palomnichestvo, pokhozhee na obvinitel’nuiu rech’ (Triple Ambivalence: Theodore Dreiser in Soviet Russia, 1927-1928. An Accusatory Pilgrimage), in Alexander Etkind and Pavel Lysakov, eds. Kul’tural’nye issledovaniia [Cultural Studies] (St. Petersburg and Moscow: European University and Letnii sad, 2006): 290-319.

“Russian Universities Across the 1917 Divide,” in John Connelly and Michael Gruettner, eds., Universities Under Dictatorships (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2005): 15-44 [revised and expanded version of #17 below]

“The ‘Heroic Life’ of a Friend of Stalinism: Romain Rolland and Soviet Culture,”Slavonica, 11, no. 1 (April 2005): 3-29, special issue on “Across and Beyond the East-West Divide: Transnational and Transsystemic Tendencies in State Socialist Russia and East Central Europe.” Reprinted in: György Péteri, ed., Nylon Curtain: Transnational and Transsystemic Tendencies in the Cultural Life of State-Socialist Russia and East-Central Europe, Trondheim Studies on East European Cultures and Societies, (Trondheim, 2006): 80-114.

“Origins of the Stalinist Superiority Complex: Western Intellectuals Inside the USSR, 1920s-1930s,” National Council for East Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER) Working Paper, 2004.

“On the Primacy of Ideology: Soviet Revisionists and Holocaust Deniers (In Response to Martin Malia),” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 5, no. 1 (Winter 2004): 81-106.

“Stalinist Westernizer? Aleksandr Arosev’s Literary and Political Depictions of Europe,” Slavic Review 62, no. 4 (Winter 2003): 733-59.

“The Fellow-Travelers Revisited: The ‘Cultured West’ Through Soviet Eyes,” Journal of Modern History 75, no. 2 (June 2003): 300-335.

“Das seltsame Schicksal der russischenUniversitäten vor und nach der Revolution von 1917,” in Zwischen Autonomie und Anpassung: Universitäten in den Diktaturen des 20. Jahrhunderts, ed. Michael Gruettner and John Connelly (Würzburg: Schöningh-Verlag, 2002).

“From Illusory ‘Society’ to Intellectual ‘Public’: VOKS, International Travel, and Party-Intelligentsia Relations in the Interwar Period,” Contemporary European History 11, no. 1 (February 2002): 7-32. Republished in Patronage, Personal Networks and the Party-State: Everyday Life in the Cultural Sphere in Communist Russia and East Central Europe

Trondheim Studies on East European Cultures and Societies (Trondheim, Norway, 2004).

“Sem’ podkhodov k fenomenu sovetskoi sistemy: Raznye vzgliady na pervuiu polovinu ‘kratkogo’ XX veka” [Seven Roads to the Soviet System: Views on the First Half of the ‘Short’ 20th Century”], in David-Fox, ed., Amerikanskaia rusistika: Sovetskii period (2001) [see Edited Volumes # 3 above]: pp. 20-44.

“Otsy, deti, ivnuki v amerikanskoi istoriografii tsarskoi Rossii” [Fathers, Sons, and Grandchildren in the American Historiography of Tsarist Russia], in David-Fox, ed. Amerikanskaia rusistika: Imperatorskii period (2000) [see Edited Volumes #2 above): pp. 5-47.

“The Assault on the Universities and the Dynamics of Stalin’s ‘Great Break,’ 1928-1932,” in David-Fox and Péteri, eds., Academia in Upheaval: Origins, Transfers, and Transformations of the Communist Academic Regime in Russia and East Central Europe, 2000 [see edited volumes, #1 above], pp. 73-104.

“Masquerade: Sources, Resistance and Early Soviet Political Culture,” Trondheim Studies in East European Politics and Societies (Trondheim, Norway, 1999), number 1 (see www.hf.ntnu.no/hist/peecs/issues.html).

“What is Cultural Revolution?” Russian Review 58, 2 (April 1999): 181-201.

“Mentalité or Cultural System: A Reply to Sheila Fitzpatrick,” Russian Review 58, 2 (April 1999): 210-211.

“Symbiosis to Synthesis: The Communist Academy and the Bolshevization of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 1918-1929,” Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 46, 2 (1998): 219-243.

“The Emergence of a 1920s Academic Order in Soviet Russia,” East/West Education, 18, no. 2 (1997): 106-142.

“Science, Political Enlightenment and Agitprop: On the Typology of Social Knowledge in the Early Soviet Period,” Minerva 34, no. 4 (Winter 1996): 347-366. For special issue “Social Science under State Socialism.”

(Co-authored with David Hoffmann), “The Politburo Protocols, 1919-40,” Russian Review 55, 1 (Jan. 1996): 99-103. 

“Memory, Archives, Politics: The Rise of Stalin in Avtorkhanov's Technology of Power,” Slavic Review 54, 4 (Winter 1995): 988-1003.

“Political Culture, Purges and Proletarianization at the Institute of Red Professors, 1921-1929,” Russian Review, 52, 1 (January 1993): 20-42.

“Glavlit, Censorship and the Problem of Party Policy in Cultural Affairs, 1922-1928,” Soviet Studies [now Europe-Asia Studies] 44, 6 (November 1992): 1045-1068.

“Trotskiii ego kritiki o prirode SSSR priStaline,” [Trotsky and his Critics on the Nature of Stalin's USSR] Voprosy istorii, [Problems of History], Moscow, no. 11-12, 1992, 33-45.

“Ante Ciliga, Trotskii and State Capitalism: Theory, Tactics and Reevaluation during the Purge Era, 1935-1939,” Slavic Review, 50, 1 (Spring 1991): 127-143. Published in Croatian translation in Casopis za suvremenu povijest [Journal of Contemporary History], Zagreb, no. 3, 1994, 427-450.

V. Reviews    

“Featured Review” of J. Arch Getty, Practicing Stalinism: Bolsheviks, Boyars, and the Persistence of Tradition, in Slavic Review 73, 3 (forthcoming, September 2014).

Review of Anne E. Gorsuch, All This is Your World: Soviet Tourism at Home and Abroad after Stalin, in Journal of Cold War Studies 14, 4 (2012): 257-59.

“Entanglements, Dictators and Systems,” in “Review Forum: Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin,” Journal of Genocide Research 13, 3 (2011): 20-27.

Review of Michael Geyer and Sheila Fitzpatrick, eds., Beyond Totalitarianism: Stalinism and Nazism Compared (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Social History 35, 1 (Feb. 2010): 109-12.

“Featured Review” of Karl Schlögel, Terror und Traum: Moskau 1937 (Munich: Carl Hanser, 2008, 812 pp.), Slavic Review 68, 4 (Winter 2009): 948-51.

Review of Bert Hoppe, In Stalins Gefolgschaft: Moskau und die KPD 1928-1933 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2007), Russian Review 67, 3 (July 2008): 527-28.

Review of Michael Kellogg, The Russian Roots of Nazism: White Emigres and the Making of National Socialism, 1917-1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2005), Journal of Modern History 79, 2 (June 2007): 492-94.

Review of Matthew Lenoe, Closer to the Masses: Stalinist Culture, Social Revolution, and Soviet Newspapers (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004),Journal of Cold War Studies 9, 1 (Winter 2007): 161-64.

Review of Alter Litvin and John Keep, Stalinism: Russian and Western Views at the Turn of the Millenium (London and New York: Routledge, 2005), Canadian Journal of History 41,1 (March 2006): 135-138.

Review of Sergei Zhuravlev, “Malenkie liudi” i “bol’shaia istoriia”: Inostrantsy moskovskogo Elektrozavoda v sovetskom obshchestve 1920-x – 1930-x gg. (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2000) [“Little People” and “Big History”: Foreigners of Moscow’s Electrical Factory in Soviet Society, 1920s-1930s], Kritika 5, 3 (Summer 2004): 611-22.

Review of Larry E. Holmes, Stalin’s School: Moscow’s Model School No. 25, 1931-1937 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999), Journal of Modern History 74, 1 (March 2002): 214-16.

Review of Irina Nikolaevna Il’ina, Obshchestvennye organizatsii Rossii v 1920-e gody [Civil Organizations in Russia in the 1920s], in Kritika 3, 1 (Winter 2002): 173-81.

Review of Oleg Kharkhordin, The Collective and the Individual in Russia: A Study of Practices (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), for International Review of Social History 46, 2 (2001), 265-68.

Review of Vladimir Brovkin, Russia after Lenin: Politics, Culture and Society (London and New York: Routledge, 1998), Journal of Modern History 73, 1 (March 2001), 230-32.

Review of Catriona Kelly and David Shepherd, eds., Constructing Russian Culture in the Age of Revolution: 1881-1940 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), Slavic Review 59, 3 (Fall 2000), 699-700.

Review of Alexander Etkind, Eros of the Impossible: The History of Psychoanalysis in Russia (Boulder: Westview, 1997) and Martin Miller, Freud and the Bolsheviks: Psychoanalysis in Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union (New Haven: Yale, 1998), Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences 35, 3 (Summer 1999): 311-314.

Review of Stefan Plaggenborg, Revolutionskultur: Menschenbilder und kulturelle Praxis in sowjetrussland zwischen Oktoberrevolution und Stalinismus (Köln, Weimar, Wien: Böhlau Verlag, 1996), Slavic Review 59, 3 (Summer 1999).

Review of Harley D. Balzer, ed. Russia's Missing Middle Class: The Professions in Russian History (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1996), East/West Education, 18, 1 (Spring 1997): 82-84.

Review of Lars Lih, Oleg Naumov, and Oleg Khlevniuk, eds. Stalin's Letters to Molotov 1925-1936, trans. Catherine Fitzpatrick (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995), Russian Review, 55, 2 (April 1996).

Review of Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Cultural Front: Power and Culture in Revolutionary Russia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), Europe-Asia Studies, 45, 6 (1993): 1119-1121.