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Steven Kotkin on Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941

March 12, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941

In 1941, history’s largest, most horrific war ever broke out, between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.  Some 55 million people were killed worldwide in WWII, half in the Soviet Union.  Who was Joseph Stalin?  Who was Adolf Hitler?  Why did they clash?  This lecture, based upon a book of the same name, uses a vast array of once secret documents to trace the rise of Soviet Communism and its deadly rivalry with Nazism.  It analyzes why Great Powers go to war against each other, delivering lessons for today.

Stephen Kotkin is the Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University, where he directs the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies and co-directs the Program in the History and Practice of Diplomacy.  He is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.  He was the business book reviewer for the New York TimesSunday business section for a number of years.  His essays and reviews appear in Foreign Affairs, theWall Street Journal, and other publications.  Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941, is his sixth book.

The Washington History Seminar thanks the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute for their co-sponsorship of this event.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Philippa Strum (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is sponsored jointly by theNational History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support.


March 12, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Wilson Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20004 United States