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Originally founded over a century ago as a repository for historical documents and ephemera, the Hoover Institution is steeped in history. Today its eminent historians seek to apply the lessons of history to contemporary public policy challenges.

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Niall Ferguson

Milbank Family Senior Fellow
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Niall Ferguson

Milbank Family Senior Fellow

Niall Ferguson, MA, DPhil, FRSE, is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Pity of War, The House of Rothschild, Empire, Civilization and Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, which won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize. He is an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. His 2018 book, The Square and the Tower, was a New York Times bestseller and also adapted for television by PBS as Niall Ferguson’s Networld. In 2020 he joined Bloomberg Opinion as a columnist. In addition, he is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, a New York-based advisory firm, a co-founder of Ualá, a Latin American financial technology company, and a trustee of the New York Historical Society, the London-based Centre for Policy Studies, and the newly founded University of Austin. His latest book, Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, was published last year by Penguin and was shortlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize.

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Stephen Kotkin

Kleinheinz Senior Fellow
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Stephen Kotkin

Kleinheinz Senior Fellow

In addition to his Hoover fellowship, Stephen Kotkin is a senior fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also the Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs emeritus at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (formerly the Woodrow Wilson School), where he taught for 33 years. He earned his PhD at the University of California–Berkeley and has been conducting research in the Hoover Library & Archives for more than three decades. Kotkin’s research encompasses geopolitics and authoritarian regimes in history and in the present. His publications include Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941 (Penguin, 2017) and Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928 (Penguin, 2014), two parts of a planned three-volume history of Russian power in the world and of Stalin’s power in Russia. He has also written a history of the Stalin system’s rise from a street-level perspective, Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization (University of California 1995); and a trilogy analyzing Communism’s demise, of which two volumes have appeared thus far: Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse 1970–2000 (Oxford, 2001; rev. ed. 2008) and Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment, with a contribution by Jan T. Gross (Modern Library, 2009). The third volume will be on the Soviet Union in the third world and Afghanistan. Kotkin’s publications and public lectures also often focus on Communist China. Kotkin has participated in numerous events of the National Intelligence Council, among other government bodies, and is a consultant in geopolitical risk to Conexus Financial and Mizuho Americas. He served as the lead book reviewer for the New York Times Sunday Business Section for a number of years and continues to write reviews and essays for Foreign Affairs, the Times Literary Supplement, and the Wall Street Journal, among other venues. He has been an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, and a Guggenheim Fellow.

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Frank Dikötter

Senior Fellow
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Frank Dikötter

Senior Fellow

Frank Dikötter is chair professor of humanities at the University of Hong Kong and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Before moving to Asia in 2006, he was professor of the modern history of China at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He was born in the Netherlands, educated in Switzerland, and received his PhD from the University of London in 1990. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Leiden. Frank has published a dozen books that have changed the way we look at the history of China, from the classic The Discourse of Race in Modern China (Stanford University Press, 1992) to China before Mao: The Age of Openness (University of California Press, 2007). His Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs in China (University of Chicago Press, 2004) used archives from China, Europe, and the United States to challenge one of the cornerstones of current international drug policy, namely, the idea that opium changed China into a nation of addicts. Most recently he has published a People's Trilogy, using newly opened files from the Chinese Communist Party’s own archives to document the impact of communism on the lives of ordinary people under Mao. The first volume, Mao's Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962, won the 2011 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, Britain’s most prestigious book award for non-fiction. It was selected as a Book of the Year by The Economist, the Independent, the Sunday Times, the London Evening Standard, The Telegraph, the New Statesman and the Globe and Mail, and has been translated into thirteen languages. The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution 1945-1957, was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize in 2014. The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962-1976 concludes the trilogy and was published in May 2016. He is currently working on a history of the cult of personality seen through the lives of eight dictators, from Mussolini to Mao and Mengistu.

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Anna Grzymala-Busse

Senior Fellow
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Anna Grzymala-Busse

Senior Fellow

Anna Grzymala-Busse is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.  Grzymala-Busse is the Michelle and Kevin Douglas Professor in the Department of Political Science, the director of the Europe Center, and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford. Her research focuses on religion and politics, authoritarian political parties and their successors, and the historical development of the state. She is the author of three books: Redeeming the Communist Past: The Regeneration of Communist Successor Parties; Rebuilding Leviathan: Party Competition and State Development in Post-Communist Europe; and Nations Under God: How Churches Use Moral Authority to Influence Politics. She is the recipient of the Carnegie and Guggenheim Fellowships. 

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Victor Davis Hanson

Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow
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Victor Davis Hanson

Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution; his focus is classics and military history. Hanson was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992–93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991–92), the annual Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Visiting Fellow in History at Hillsdale College (2004–), the Visiting Shifron Professor of Military History at the US Naval Academy (2002–3),and the William Simon Visiting Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University (2010). In 1991 he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award. He received the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism (2002), presented the Manhattan's Institute's Wriston Lecture (2004), and was awarded the National Humanities Medal (2007) and the Bradley Prize (2008). Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, and newspaper editorials on Greek, agrarian, and military history and essays on contemporary culture. He has written or edited twenty-four books, the latest of which is The Case for Trump (Basic Books, 2019). His other books include The Second World Wars (Basic Books, 2017); The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost - from Ancient Greece to Iraq (Bloomsbury 2013); The End of Sparta (Bloomsbury, 2011); The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern (Bloomsbury, 2010); Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome (ed.) (Princeton, 2010); The Other Greeks (California, 1998); The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999); Carnage and Culture (Doubleday, 2001); Ripples of Battle (Doubleday, 2003); A War Like No Other (Random House, 2005); The Western Way of War (Alfred Knopf, 1989; 2nd paperback ed., University of California Press, 2000); The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell, 1999; paperback ed., 2001); and Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (Encounter, 2003), as well as two books on family farming, Fields without Dreams (Free Press, 1995) and The Land Was Everything (Free Press, 1998). Currently, he is a syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services and a weekly columnist for the National Review Online. Hanson received a BA in classics at the University of California, Santa Cruz (1975), was a fellow at the American School of Classical Studies, Athens (1977–78), and received his PhD in classics from Stanford University (1980).

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Timothy Garton Ash

Senior Fellow
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Timothy Garton Ash

Senior Fellow

Timothy Garton Ash, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, is an internationally acclaimed contemporary historian whose work has focused on Europe’s history since 1945. Garton Ash is in residence at Hoover on a part-time basis; he continues his work as professor of European studies and as Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford University. Among the topics he has covered are the liberation of Central Europe from communism, Germany before and after reunification, how countries deal with a difficult past, global free speech in the age of the internet and mass migration (see the 13-language interactive Oxford University project Free Speech Debate), and the European Union’s relationships with partners, including the United States and rising non-Western powers such as China.  He is currently working on a history of contemporary Europe and leading a major research project at Oxford on Europe's past and future. His most recent book is a new edition of The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of 1989 as Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague (originally published 1990), with a major new chapter covering developments in central Europe over the last 30 years. His previous books include Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World (2016), Facts Are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade without a Name (2010); Free World: America, Europe and the Surprising Future of the West (2004); The File: A Personal History (1998); In Europe's Name: Germany and the Divided Continent (1993); The Polish Revolution: Solidarity, 1980–82 (1983); and Und Willst Du Nicht Mein Brüder Sein (1981). He coedited Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-Violent Action from Gandhi to the Present (2009). Garton Ash is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Historical Society, and the Royal Society of Arts and has received numerous honors and awards, including the Somerset Maugham Award, the George Orwell Prize, the Order of Merit from Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic, and honorary doctorates from St. Andrew's University and the Catholic University of Leuven. In 2017 he was awarded the prestigious International Charlemagne Prize of the City of Aachen. He writes a regular column in the Guardian, which is widely syndicated in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. He is a regular contributor to other periodicals, including the Financial Times. Garton Ash, who holds a BA and MA in modern history from the University of Oxford, did graduate studies at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, at the Free University in West Berlin, and at Humboldt University in East Berlin.

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H. R. McMaster

Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow
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H. R. McMaster

Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow

H. R. McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is also the Bernard and Susan Liautaud Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He was the 25th assistant to the president for National Security Affairs. Upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1984, McMaster served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for thirty-four years before retiring as a Lieutenant General in June 2018. From 2014 to 2017 McMaster designed the future army as the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center and the deputy commanding general, futures, of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). As commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, he oversaw all training and education for the army’s infantry, armor, and cavalry force. He has commanded organizations in wartime including Commander, Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force—Shafafiyat in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012; Commander, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq from 2005 to 2006; and Commander, Eagle Troop, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Operation Desert Storm from 1990 to 1991. McMaster also served overseas as advisor to the most senior commanders in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan. McMaster holds a PhD in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was an assistant professor of history at the United States Military Academy. He is author of the bestselling books Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World and Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam. He was a contributing editor for Survival: Global Politics and Strategy. His many essays, articles, and book reviews on leadership, history, and the future of warfare have appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Survival, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. He is the host of Battlegrounds: International Perspectives on Crucial Challenges and Opportunities and is a regular on Goodfellows.

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Military History in Contemporary Conflict Working Group

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