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Enemies, A Love Story: An Entangled History of Russia, America, and Germany
February 6 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Senior Fellow (2021-2025)
Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of History, Department of History, UW–Madison
Most popular histories of Soviet international relations focus on geopolitics and high-level diplomacy: they take as their centerpiece the Cold War, they investigate moments of crisis, and they consider everything before 1946 a prelude to the story. My book project, Enemies, A Love Story: An Entangled History of Russia, America, and Germany takes a different approach to Soviet international relations, focusing on the period between 1890 and 1940. Shifting the focus away from traditional diplomacy, it looks instead at the roles of economics, culture, and informal ties in shaping relations between the three countries. Enemies, A Love Story uses the story of a Jewish family—four siblings from Ukraine—to provide a wholly new perspective on the Bolshevik Revolution, the making of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union’s relationship with the wider world. The project traces the siblings’ different paths and many border-crossings to tell a story about radical politics, informal diplomacy, foreign relations, technology exchange, and the writing of history.
Francine Hirsch is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she teaches courses on Soviet history, Modern European history, and the history of human rights. She received her PhD in History from Princeton University in 1998. Her first book, Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (2005), received several awards, including the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the American Historical Association and the Wayne S. Vucinich Prize of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Her second book, Soviet Judgment at Nuremberg: A New History of the International Military Tribunal after World War II (2020), was awarded several prizes including the George Louis Beer Prize of the American Historical Association and the 2021 Certificate of Merit for a Preeminent Contribution to Creative Scholarship from the American Society for International Law. Hirsch’s new book project investigates the history of Russian, American, and German entanglement from 1890 through 1940.
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