Francine Hirsch

Position title: Senior Fellow (2021-2025)

Pronouns: She/her

Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of History, Department of History, UW–Madison

Headshot of Francine Hirsch. She is looking at the camera and smiling. Francine is wearing black glasses, a silver necklace, and matching earrings. Her hair is loose and falls slightly past her shoulders. She is wearing a blue shirt under a black blazer.

Enemies, A Love Story: An Entangled History of Russia, America, and Germany

My book project, “Enemies, A Love Story: An Entangled History of Russia, America, and Germany” presents a new history of the Russian Revolutions of 1917, socialist internationalism, Stalinism, and the Soviet Union’s relationships with American and Germany from 1890 until World War II. It tells this broader story by focusing in on one remarkable family from Ukraine—tracing the lives of four siblings who played critical roles in the worlds of Soviet economics, science, diplomacy, and culture.

Francine Hirsch is the Alice D. Mortenson/Petrovich Distinguished Chair of Russian 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), won four book 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 has also published op-eds and thought pieces in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The New Republic, Time, Lawfare, Just Security, and other outlets. Her new book project investigates the history of Russian-American-German entanglement, with a focus on economics, science, culture, and diplomacy.