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 Russia and Its Islamic World (Hoover Institution Press, 2017). He is the author of Spies and Commissars: Russia and the West in the Bolshevik Revolution (McMillan, 2011), 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

Analysis and Commentary

Why Putin Will Never Truly Conquer Ukraine

by Robert Servicevia The Spectator
Sunday, May 29, 2022

Vladimir Putin has never been completely clear about his war aims. But he gives clues. He endlessly talks of the brotherhood of Russians and Ukrainians – and in this relationship he always puts Russia first.

In the News

Biden’s Unbalanced Ukraine Policy

quoting Robert Servicevia National Interest
Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Biden is an inept foreign policy president, and most Americans know it. If you want to understand the all-too-valid reasons for widespread concern over the current Ukraine crisis, that’s a pretty good place to start.

In the News

How Biden And NATO Can End Russia’s War With Ukraine

quoting Robert Servicevia Boston Globe
Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Biden can address NATO’s threat to Russia and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine today through de-escalation instead of the economic and proxy war he threatens.

Analysis and Commentary

The Fatal Miscalculation That Led To War In Ukraine

by Robert Servicevia The Spectator
Sunday, March 13, 2022

The war against Ukraine — or the ‘special military operation’ as it is compulsorily known in Moscow — has lasted over a fortnight.

Featured

The Two Blunders That Caused The Ukraine War

featuring Robert Servicevia The Wall Street Journal
Friday, March 4, 2022

[Subscription required] Hoover Institution fellow Robert Service discusses the war between Russia and Ukraine and he says Moscow will win the war but will lose the peace and fail to subjugate Ukraine. How Putin could be deposed.

Featured AnalysisFeatured

Russia And American Power In The Middle East

by Robert Servicevia The Caravan
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Nothing is stranger than the notion, widely held, that Russia is a newcomer to the Middle East. After extending its rule to what is now called southern Ukraine in the late eighteenth century its territories bordered on the vast Ottoman Empire.

Featured

Russia And American Power In The Middle East

by Robert Servicevia The Caravan
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Nothing is stranger than the notion, widely held, that Russia is a newcomer to the Middle East. After extending its rule to what is now called southern Ukraine in the late eighteenth century its territories bordered on the vast Ottoman Empire.

Trotsky in Exile
Interviews

Video: Christopher Hitchens & Robert Service On The Life Of Trotsky (3 Parts)

interview with Robert Servicevia Mainstream Weekly
Monday, June 15, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Robert Service discusses the life of Leon Trotsky.

Blank Section (Placeholder)

Robert Service: Putin's Russia: Threat Or Opportunity? | Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing

interview with Robert Servicevia Hoover Podcasts
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

AUDIO ONLY

Robert Service discusses Putin's Russia: Threat Or Opportunity?

Robert Service: Putin's Russia: Threat or Opportunity?

interview with Robert Servicevia Hoover Virtual Policy Briefings
Tuesday, June 9, 2020

A Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing with Robert Service: Putin's Russia: Threat or Opportunity?
Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 11AM PT/ 2PM ET.

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.