Bertrand M. Patenaude

Research Fellow
Biography: 

Bertrand M. Patenaude is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is also a lecturer in history and international relations at Stanford University. His most recent book is Trotsky: Downfall of a Revolutionary, published by HarperCollins in 2009. He is also the author of A Wealth of Ideas: Revelations from the Hoover Institution Archives (Stanford University Press, 2006), a richly illustrated coffee-table book that showcases the Hoover Archives’ extraordinary collections, which span the entire twentieth century. His first book, The Big Show in Bololand: The American Relief Expedition to Soviet Russia in the Famine of 1921 (Stanford University Press, 2002) won the 2003 Marshall Shulman Book Prize and is the basis for a forthcoming documentary film produced for the award-winning PBS series American Experience.

He has also edited several books, including, with Terence Emmons, War, Revolution, and Peace in Russia: The Passages of Frank Golder, 1914–1927 (Hoover Institution Press, 1992); The Russian Revolution (Garland, 1992); Stalin and Stalinism (Garland, 1992); and Soviet Scholarship under Gorbachev (Center for Russian and East European Studies, Stanford, 1988).

Among his important discoveries in the Hoover Archives is a 1922 Russian-language book manuscript by the Moscow economist Lev Litoshenko. That manuscript, unidentified for decades, turned out to be a first-rate study of Bolshevik agrarian policies during the early years of Soviet power, with special emphasis on the utopian civil war policies known as War Communism. After determining the manuscript's authorship, Patenaude’s subsequent efforts led to its publication in Russia as Sotsializatsiia zemli v Rossii [Socialization of the Land in Russia] (Novosibirsk: Sibirskii khronograf, 2001), which Patenaude edited, together with a team of his Russian colleagues.

Patenaude taught for eight years (1992–2000) in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where his outstanding performance as a classroom instructor was recognized with the Schieffelin Award for Teaching Excellence for two consecutive years, 1998 and 1999. His book reviews regularly appear in the Wall Street Journal. He was educated at Boston College and the University of Vienna and received his PhD in history from Stanford.

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Books

Defining Moments

by Bertrand M. Patenaudevia Hoover Institution Press
Thursday, August 15, 2019

A century ago, amid the devastation of World War I, Herbert Hoover established a collection of library and archival materials at Stanford University devoted to the causes and consequences of war. Founded as the Hoover War Collection in 1919, the institution has evolved into one of the world’s premier research centers devoted to the advanced study of politics, economics, and international affairs.

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Solzhenitsyn Was Here

by Bertrand M. Patenaudevia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The celebrated Soviet exile came, did some research in the Hoover Archives, and began his scrutiny of the American scene. Notes on a memorable visitor.

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The Big Show In Bololand

featuring Bertrand M. Patenaude, Hoover Institutionvia C-SPAN
Monday, March 11, 2019

Author Bertrand Patenaude shared the story of a US famine relief mission to Bolshevik Russia in 1921 that saved millions of lives in his book, The Big Show in Bololand: The American Relief Expedition to Soviet Russia in the Famine of 1921.

Hoover’s Telegram to Lou Henry
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The Message

by Bertrand M. Patenaudevia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 25, 2019

The Hoover Institution was born from a telegram: in it, the future president announced he wanted to collect material that might explain—even prevent—war. Since then, the work of the institution has grown ever more urgent.

Analysis and Commentary

‘Between Two Millstones’ Review: Stranger In A Strange Land

by Bertrand M. Patenaudevia The Wall Street Journal
Friday, December 21, 2018

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s memoir of his tumultuous years outside the U.S.S.R. is most effective, and affecting, as a record of the mental torment the author endured in an alien environment.

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Revolution Comes to Stanford

by Bertrand M. Patenaudevia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 29, 2018

Remembering Alexander Kerensky: leader of the short-lived Russian Provisional Government that ruled between the czar and the Bolsheviks, he spent his later years at Stanford, hoping for “the resurrection of liberty in my land.”

Analysis and Commentary

‘The Kremlinologist’ Review: A Starring Role Behind The Scenes

by Bertrand M. Patenaudevia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Llewellyn Thompson’s quiet diplomacy and shrewd counsel relaxed Cold War tensions and made him the “unsung hero” of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bertrand M. Patenaude reviews “The Kremlinologist” by Jenny Thompson and Sherry Thompson.

Analysis and Commentary

Overseas Killings Are Built Into The DNA Of Russia's Intelligence Agencies

by Bertrand M. Patenaudevia CNN
Monday, March 12, 2018

The attempted murder last week in the United Kingdom of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal by means of a nerve agent immediately called to mind the fatal poisoning of another former officer of the Russian security services, Alexander Litvinenko, victim of a polonium attack in London in 2006. The Russian government denies any involvement, of course, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed outrage that anyone would suggest otherwise.

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The Crown under the Hammer

by Bertrand M. Patenaude, Jodi Robertsvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 26, 2018

Pictures at a revolution.

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“Long Telegram,” Long Shadow

by Bertrand M. Patenaudevia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Seventy years have passed since diplomat George Kennan offered his penetrating advice. The story of one of the most important documents in American history.

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