The Russian Revolution

Join us for a lecture by Eric Lohr (Department of History, American University) on the 100 years since the Russian revolution of 1917. How have the meanings of socialism changed over the course of this century? And what can the Bolsheviks teach us about the structure and impact of revolutions?

100 years ago today: The Russian Revolution

Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 1 pm at 228 Battelle-Tompkins Hall




About our speaker

Eric Lohr is Chair of the History Department at American University and is widely recognized as one of the leading scholars of Russia’s World War I experience, authoring many articles and document publications on the subject.  He previously taught at Harvard as an assistant professor of History (2000-2003).  He is the author of Russian Citizenship: From Empire to Soviet Union (Harvard University Press, 2012) and Nationalizing the Russian Empire: The Campaign Against Enemy Aliens during World War I (Harvard University Press, 2003). He is also the co-author of a book with Lafayette College history professor Joshua Sanborn titled Russia’s Great War, 1914-1918, and is the editor of the forthcoming book The Empire and Nationalism at War. He is currently writing Russia’s War, 1914-1918: From Total Mobilization to Total Demobilization.




Have a look at Eric Lohr’s books:

 Russian Citizenship is the first book to trace the Russian state’s citizenship policy throughout its history. Focusing on the period from the mid-nineteenth century to the consolidation of Stalin’s power in the 1930s, Eric Lohr considers whom the state counted among its citizens and whom it took pains to exclude. His research reveals that the Russian attitude toward citizenship was less xenophobic and isolationist and more similar to European attitudes than has been previously thought―until the drive toward autarky after 1914 eventually sealed the state off and set it apart. Drawing on untapped sources in the Russian police and foreign affairs archives, Lohr’s research is grounded in case studies of immigration, emigration, naturalization, and loss of citizenship among individuals and groups, including Jews, Muslims, Germans, and other minority populations. Lohr explores how reform of citizenship laws in the 1860s encouraged foreigners to immigrate and conduct business in Russia. For the next half century, citizenship policy was driven by attempts to modernize Russia through intensifying its interaction with the outside world. But growing suspicion toward non-Russian minorities, particularly Jews, led to a reversal of this openness during the First World War and to a Soviet regime that deprived whole categories of inhabitants of their citizenship rights. Lohr sees these Soviet policies as dramatically divergent from longstanding Russian traditions and suggests that in order to understand the citizenship dilemmas Russia faces today―including how to manage an influx of Chinese laborers in Siberia―we must return to pre-Stalin history.
In this compelling study of the treatment of “enemy” minorities in the Russian Empire during the First World War, Eric Lohr uncovers a dramatic story of mass deportations, purges, expropriations, and popular violence.A campaign initially aimed at restricting foreign citizens rapidly spun out of control. It swept up Russian subjects of German, Jewish, and Muslim backgrounds and drove roughly a million civilians from one part of the empire to another, resulting in one of the largest cases of forced migration in history to that time. Because foreigners and diaspora minorities were prominent among entrepreneurial and landowning elites, the campaign against them also became an explosive element in class and national tensions on the eve of the 1917 revolutions. During the war, the imperial regime dropped its ambivalence about Russian nationalism and embraced unprecedented and radical policies that “nationalized” the economy, the land, and even the population. The core idea of the campaign–that the country needed to free itself from the domination of foreigners, internal enemies, and the exploitative world economic system–later became a central feature of the Soviet revolutionary model. Based on extensive archival research, much in newly available sources, Nationalizing the Russian Empire is an important contribution to the study of empire and nationalism, the Russian Revolution, and ethnic cleansing.