Alfred J. Rieber

Academic Rank: 
Professor Emeritus
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Alfred J. Rieber has been teaching and writing Russian and Soviet history for more than fifty years. He was a participant in the first year of the Soviet-American cultural exchange in 1958-59 and has returned to the Soviet Union and Russia many times to lecture and conduct archival research. He began teaching at Northwestern and then moved to the University of Pennsylvania where he taught for twenty–five years and chaired the History Department for ten years, now holding the title of Professor Emeritus. For the past twenty-two years he has taught at Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary where he was also chair of the History Department for four years, and upon retirement was elected by the university Senate as University Professor Emeritus. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and Columbia University. In 1966 he was awarded the E. Harris Harbison Prize of the Danforth Foundation as one of the ten best teachers in the U.S. He has won additional teaching awards at Penn and CEU where he was elected professor of the year by the entire student body in 1997 and 1998. The American Philosophical Society awarded him the Henry C. Moe Prize in 1985. His book Struggle for the Eurasian Borderlands. From the Rise of Early Modern Empires to the End of the First World War, Cambridge University Press, 2014 was awarded the Bentley Prize of the World History Association and its sequel, Stalin’s Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia, Cambridge, 2016 was short listed for the Pushkin History Prize.

In addition to these award winning books, he has written and edited seven books as well as over fifty articles and book chapters on Russian and Soviet history. Among his books are Stalin and the French Communist Party, 1941-1947; The Politics of Autocracy; Merchants and Entrepreneurs in Imperial Russia; Perestroika at the Crossroads; Forced Migration in Central and Eastern Europe, 1939-1950, and with Alexei Miller, Imperial Rule. His most recent book, The Imperial Russian Project. Politics, Economic Development and Social Fragmentation from Peter the Great to the Revolution, Toronto University, appeared in December 2017.Among his many research grants are fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities, National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, and Woodrow Wilson National Foundation. He has lectured widely in the U.S. and Europe, most recently at Georgetown University, Oxford, Cambridge, the University of London (SEES), University of L’viv, Mohyla Academy in Kiev, University of Szeged, University of Bucharest, Sofia University, the Free University of Berlin, University of Geneva, University of Ulan-Ude, and the European University in St. Petersburg. Most recently, his chapter, "The Anti-Fascist Resistance during the Second World War," appeared in the New Cambridge History of Communism, in 2017 and his chapter “Russia in Asia,” will appear in 2018 in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asia. His current research and writing takes him back to the 19th century Russia for a book length manuscript entitled “Reforming Russia: the Life and Times of Count P.A. Shuvalov.” He is also the author of three historical detective novels: To Kill a Tsar (2010); The Kiev Killings (2013); and Siberian Secrets (2014), all published by the New Academia Press.

Doctoral Supervision:


Columbia University, Russian Institute, M.A. and certificate 1954; Ph.D. 1959
Colgate University, B.A. 1953, Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, High Honors

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