Robert Service

Senior Fellow
Biography: 

Robert Service, a noted Russian historian and political commentator, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford.

His research interests concern Russian history and politics in all its aspects, from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Service was awarded the 2009 Duff Cooper Prize for his biography Trotsky (Harvard University Press, 2009).

His most recent publication is Spies and Commissars: Russia and the West in the Bolshevik Revolution (McMillan, 2011). He is the author of Dictionary of 20th Century Communism (Princeton University Press, 2010) coedited with Silvio Pons, The Russian Revolution 1900–1927, 4th edition (London, 2009); author of Lenin: A Biography (London, 2000); “Architectural Problems of Reform in the Soviet Union: From Design to Collapse” in Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, vol. 2 (2001); Russia: Experiment with a People (London and Harvard, 2002); “Stalinism and the Soviet State Order” in Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, vol. 1 (2003); A History of Modern Russia. From Tsarism to the Twenty-First Century, 3rd edition, expanded and updated (London and Cambridge, MA, 2009); Stalin: A Biography (London and Cambridge, MA, 2004); “Military Policy, International Relations and Soviet Security after October 1917,” in Russia: War, Peace and Diplomacy. Essays in Honour of John Erickson (London, 2004); “Soviet Political Leadership and 'Sovietological' Modelling,” in Leading Russia: Putin in Perspective: Essays in Honour of Archie Brown (Oxford , 2005); and Comrades: A World History of Communism (London and Cambridge, MA, 2007).

Service holds an MA in modern languages from the University of Cambridge and an MA and a PhD in government from the University of Essex.

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Recent Commentary

Red Tales

by Robert Service, Jonathan Derbyshirevia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 26, 2012

Imitate it, destroy it, trade with it? In the years after the Bolshevik revolution, the West didn’t know what to make of the new Soviet state. Hoover fellow Robert Service explores a time of conflict and disillusionment. By Jonathan Derbyshire.

masked guerrilla theater group

The Next Russian Revolution?

by Robert Servicevia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 6, 2012

The Soviet Union has been gone for twenty years, but the people of Russia are only just awakening. By Robert Service.

Moscow, Russia

The Next Russian Revolution?

by Robert Servicevia Advancing a Free Society
Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twenty years ago, Mikhail S. Gorbachevannounced the end of a huge global experiment.

Anniversaries can be painful

by Robert Servicevia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, August 15, 2011

We're coming up to the twentieth anniversary of the August 1991 coup against Mikhail Gorbachev and his perestroika in the USSR. The coup never came to anything.

Putin and Medvedev

Of Comrades and Capos

by Robert Servicevia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

If there’s a plot against Russia, as Vladimir Putin claims, then it’s being carried out by those already in power. By Robert Service.

Vladimir Putin and the real plot against Russia

by Robert Servicevia Advancing a Free Society
Friday, December 3, 2010

Apart from the small matter of the football, that a Spanish prosecutor has told an American diplomat that

Featured Commentary

Vladimir Putin and the real plot against Russia

by Robert Servicevia Guardian (UK)
Thursday, December 2, 2010

Putin and Medvedev – Mr Alpha Dog and his poodle – are jailers of the regime but they are also its inmates...

The Trotsky Temptation

by Robert Servicevia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Would Stalin’s great adversary really have ushered in a workers’ paradise? No—a new look into Leon Trotsky’s life and legend shows his revolutionary road was only another cruel mirage. By Robert Service.

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A Touch of Menace

by Robert Servicevia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Vladimir Putin. We may not know what he’s thinking, but we know only too much about his methods. By Robert Service.

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What I Found in Mr. Hoover's Papers

by Robert Servicevia Hoover Digest
Sunday, April 30, 2006

Herbert Hoover understood that history is to be discovered not just in official documents but in the little details of the past. By Robert Service.

Pages

Spies and Commissars: Russia and the West in the Bolshevik Revolution

 Spies and Commissars: Russia and the West in the Bolshevik Revolution, Service's most recent book.