Norman M. Naimark

Senior Fellow

Norman M. Naimark is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is also the Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies and a senior fellow of Stanford's Freeman-Spogli Institute. He currently serves as the Sakurako and William Fisher Family Director of the Stanford Global Studies Division.

Naimark is an expert in modern East European and Russian history. His current research focuses on Soviet policies and actions in Europe after World War II and on genocide and ethnic cleansing in the twentieth century.

Naimark is author of the critically acclaimed volumes The Russians in Germany: The History of The Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945–1949 (Harvard, 1995), Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing In 20th Century Europe (Harvard, 2001), and Stalin's Genocides (Princeton, 2010). He is also author of the volumes Terrorists and Social Democrats: The Russian Revolutionary Movement under Alexander III (Harvard, 1983) and The History of the "Proletariat": The Emergence of Marxism in the Kingdom of Poland, 1870–1887 (Columbia, 1979).

Naimark has edited and coedited a dozen books and document collections on the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe, Soviet nationality problems, interpretations of Soviet history, Operation "Barbarossa," the Soviet occupation of Germany, the Soviet occupation of Austria, the wars in former Yugoslavia, the Armenian genocide, and Soviet Politburo protocols.

He is or has been a member of editorial boards of a number of major professional journals in this country and abroad, including the American Historical Review, the Journal of Contemporary History, the Journal of Cold War Studies, Jahrbuch Fuer Historische Kommunismusforschung, Kritika, the Journal of Modern European History, and East European Politics and Societies.

Naimark was former president and board member of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. He served for many years on the Visiting Committee of the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard and was former chair of the Joint Committee on Eastern Europe of the American Council of Learned Societies and Social Science Research Council. He served on the academic advisory board of the Center for Contemporary History Studies in Potsdam, Germany, and presently serves on the academic board of the “Vertreibung” Museum in Berlin. He is recipient of the Officers Cross of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany. Most recently, he was elected as a foreign corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

At Stanford, Naimark served two terms on the Academic Senate, as well as on its Steering Committee. Also, he was chair of the Department of History, director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies, and director of the International Relations and International Policy Studies Programs. In 1995, he was awarded the Richard W. Lyman Award (for outstanding faculty volunteer service). He twice was recipient of the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching (1991–92, 2002–3).

Naimark earned a BA (1966), MA (1968), and PhD (1972) in history from Stanford University. Before returning to Stanford in 1988, Naimark was a professor of history at Boston University and a fellow at the Russian Research Center at Harvard. He also held the visiting Kathryn Wasserman Davis Chair of Slavic Studies at Wellesley College.

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Recent Commentary

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The Many Lives of Babi Yar

by Norman M. Naimarkvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 24, 2017

One of the blackest chapters of World War II: the German massacre of Kyiv’s Jews. The horror of Babi Yar, suppressed in the Soviet era, may be finding its proper place in European memory at last. 

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All Quiet on the Balkan Front?

by Norman M. Naimark, Aleksandar Matovskivia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 27, 2017

With Yugoslavia’s successor states simmering with conflict and discontent, problems of security, governance, and identity could boil over.

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Genocide: A World History

by Norman M. Naimarkvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Friday, December 16, 2016

An engagingly written and comprehensive synthesis of genocide from the beginning of human history to the present.

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The Man Who Was Right

by John B. Dunlop, Norman M. Naimarkvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The late Hoover fellow Robert Conquest detailed communist horrors when nobody believed them, or wanted to believe.

Analysis and Commentary

Genocide Isn’t History – It’s Part Of The Long-Term Human Experience

by Norman M. Naimarkvia The Conversation
Thursday, July 16, 2015

The purpose of this article is to explore several fundamental propositions that underlie my recent book manuscript, A World History of Genocide, which I hope will appear before the end of the year with Oxford University Press.

A New Economic Web

by Sam Rebo, Norman M. Naimarkvia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 19, 2015

Russia’s new Eurasian Economic Union is also an instrument of Putin’s political power.

Stalin’s Monstrous Will

by Norman M. Naimarkvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 20, 2015

The first book of Hoover fellow Stephen Kotkin’s new history of the Soviet Union presents a portrait of absolute power.

Photographic portrait of the “Great and Generous Leader,” Joseph Stalin.
In the News

Inside Stalin's Head

by Norman M. Naimarkfeaturing Stephen Kotkinvia Reason
Sunday, February 1, 2015

We all think we know Stalin. He was the brutal and vengeful dictator of the Soviet Union from the late 1920s until 1953, when, mercifully, he died before he could do any more damage. He was the instigator of forced industrialization and collectivization, taking his country down a dead-end path to modernity from which its heirs are still trying to recover.

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Mission to Moscow

by Norman M. Naimarkvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 25, 2013

The czars and commissars alike are long gone. Moscow has almost become a normal European city. By Norman M. Naimark.

How Historians Repeat Themselves

by Norman M. Naimarkvia Hoover Digest
Monday, June 29, 2009

The joys and challenges of mentoring the historians of the future. By Norman M. Naimark.


Stalin's Genocides

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Stalin's Genocides, Naimark's most recent book.