About Sean Guillory

NBN Episodes hosted by Sean:

Ben Judah, "Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin" (Yale UP, 2013)

May 27, 2013

Fragile Empire

Ben Judah
Hosted by Sean Guillory

Debates about the nature of Putin's rule abound. Is Putin a hard fisted authoritarian? Is he the master of the power vertical? An arbiter of competing…

Barbara Engel, "Breaking the Ties that Bound: The Politics of Marital Strife in Late Imperial Russia" (Cornell UP, 2011)

April 10, 2013

Breaking the Ties that Bound

Barbara Engel
Hosted by Sean Guillory

Divorce was virtually impossible in Imperial Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church monopolized matrimony, and it rarely granted divorce except in extrao…

Meredith Roman, "Opposing Jim Crow: African Americans and the Soviet Indictment of US Racism, 1928-1937" (U Nebraska Press, 2012)

December 21, 2012

Opposing Jim Crow

Meredith Roman
Hosted by Sean Guillory

In December 1958, US Senator Hubert H. Humphery recalled that at some point during an eight hour meeting with Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Premier "t…

Douglas Smith, "Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy" (FSG, 2012)

October 27, 2012

Former People

Douglas Smith
Hosted by Sean Guillory

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Russian nobility numbered about 1.9 million people, or 1.5 percent of the population. The 1917 Revoluti…

Mark Steinberg, "St. Petersburg: Fin de Siecle" (Yale UP, 2011)

September 18, 2012

St. Petersburg

Mark Steinberg
Hosted by Sean Guillory

Public discourse in the final decade of Imperial Russia was dominated by images of darkness and dread. Discussions of "these times" and "times of trou…

Matthew Lenoe, "The Kirov Murder and Soviet History" (Yale UP, 2010)

July 18, 2012

The Kirov Murder and Soviet History

Matthew Lenoe
Hosted by Sean Guillory

On 1 December 1934, Leonid Nikolaev, a disgruntled Bolshevik Party member, shot Sergei Kirov in the back of the head as the Leningrad Party boss appro…

Stephen Collier, "Post-Soviet Social: Neoliberalism, Social Modernity, Biopolitics" (Princeton UP, 2011)

June 20, 2012

Post-Soviet Social

Stephen Collier
Hosted by Sean Guillory

Pipes matter. That's right: pipes. Anyone who has spent time in Russia knows that the hulkish cylinders that snake throughout its cities are the lifeb…

Richard Sakwa, "The Crisis of Russian Democracy: The Dual State, Factionalism, and the Medvedev Succession" (Cambridge UP, 2011)

May 17, 2012

The Crisis of Russian Democracy

Richard Sakwa
Hosted by Sean Guillory

Richard Sakwa's new book, The Crisis of Russian Democracy: The Dual State, Factionalism, and the Medvedev Succession (Cambridge University Press, 2011…

Karen Petrone, "The Great War in Russian Memory" (Indiana UP, 2012)

April 20, 2012

The Great War in Russian Memory

Karen Petrone
Hosted by Sean Guillory

Historical studies on the European memory of World War I are, to put it mildly, voluminous. There are too many monographs to count on a myriad of subj…

Stephen White, "Understanding Russian Politics" (Cambridge UP, 2011)

April 9, 2012

Understanding Russian Politics

Stephen White
Hosted by Sean Guillory

Stephen White's Understanding Russian Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2011) begins simply enough: "Russia is no longer the Soviet Union." While …

Jan Plamper, "The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power" (Yale UP, 2012)

March 22, 2012

The Stalin Cult

Jan Plamper
Hosted by Sean Guillory

Jan Plamper begins in his book, The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power (Yale University Press, 2012), with two illuminating anecdotes that d…

Artemy Kalinovsky, "A Long Goodbye: The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan" (Harvard UP, 2011)

January 16, 2012

A Long Goodbye

Artemy Kalinovsky
Hosted by Sean Guillory

It's been twenty years since the Soviet Union collapsed, and scholars still joust over its long- and short-term causes. Amid the myriad factors--stagn…

Frank Wcislo, "Tales of Imperial Russia: The Life and Times of Sergei Witte, 1849-1915" (Oxford UP, 2011)

December 2, 2011

Tales of Imperial Russia

Frank Wcislo
Hosted by Sean Guillory

When it comes to Russia's great reformers of the nineteenth century, Count Sergei Witte looms large. As a minster to both Alexander III and Nicholas I…

Steven Barnes, "Death and Redemption: The Gulag and the Shaping of Soviet Society" (Princeton UP, 2011)

September 23, 2011

Death and Redemption

Steven Barnes
Hosted by Sean Guillory

Most Westerners know about the Gulag (aka "Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Colonies") thanks to Alexander Solzhenitsyn's eloquent, …

Charles King, "Odessa: Genius and Death in the City of Dreams" (Norton, 2011)

August 22, 2011


Charles King
Hosted by Sean Guillory

"Look up the street or down the street, this way or that way, we only saw America," wrote Mark Twain to capture his visit to Odessa in 1867. In a way,…

Louis Siegelbaum, "Cars for Comrades: The Life of the Soviet Automobile" (Cornell UP, 2008)

July 22, 2011

Cars for Comrades

Lewis Siegelbaum
Hosted by Sean Guillory

A recent editorial in the Moscow Times declared that in Moscow "the car is king." Indeed, one word Muscovites constantly mutter is probka (traffic jam…

Daniel Treisman, "The Return: Russia's Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev" (Free Press, 2011)

July 5, 2011

The Return

Daniel Treisman
Hosted by Sean Guillory

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, journalists, academics, and policymakers have sought to make sense of post-Soviet Russia. Is Russia an emergin…

Maria Yatskova, "Miss Gulag" (Neihausen-Yatskova & Vodar Films, 2007)

June 3, 2011

Miss Gulag

Maria Yatskova
Hosted by Sean Guillory

In this episode of NBRES, we're doing something a bit out of the ordinary. Instead of interviewing an author about his or her new book, we are going t…

Douglas Rogers, "The Old Faith and the Russian Land: A Historical Ethnography of Ethics in the Urals" (Cornell UP, 2009)

May 17, 2011

The Old Faith and the Russian Land

Doug Rogers
Hosted by Sean Guillory

What are ethics? What are morals? How are they constituted, practiced, and regulated? How do they change over time? My own research is informed by the…

Laurie Manchester, "Holy Fathers, Secular Sons: Clergy, Intelligentsia, and the Modern Self in Revolutionary Russia" (NI UP, 2008)

April 24, 2011

Holy Fathers, Secular Sons

Laurie Manchester
Hosted by Sean Guillory

The lives, let alone the fates, of Imperial Russia's priesthood have garnered little attention among historians. I think the reason is partially becau…

Christopher Ward, "Brezhnev's Folly: The Building of BAM and Late Soviet Socialism" (Pittsburgh UP, 2009)

April 8, 2011

Brezhnev's Folly

Christopher Ward
Hosted by Sean Guillory

At the Seventeenth Komsomol Congress in 1974, Leonid Brezhnev announced the construction of the Baikal-Amur Mainline Railway, or BAM. This "Path to th…

Thomas de Waal, "The Caucasus: An Introduction" (Oxford UP, 2010)

March 25, 2011

The Caucasus

Thomas de Waal
Hosted by Sean Guillory

On August 8, 2008 many Americans learned that Russia had gone to war with a mysterious country called Georgia over an even stranger territory called S…

Miriam Dobson, "Khrushchev's Cold Summer: Gulag Returnees, Crime, and the Fate of Reform After Stalin" (Cornell UP, 2009)

March 15, 2011

Khruschev's Cold Summer

Miriam Dobson
Hosted by Sean Guillory

Examinations of the Soviet gulag are a cottage industry in Russian studies. Since 1991, a torrent of books have been published examining the gulag's c…

Claudia Verhoeven, "The Odd Man Karakozov: Imperial Russia, Modernity, and the Birth of Terrorism (Cornell UP, 2009)

March 3, 2011

The Odd Man Karakozov

Claudia Verhoeven
Hosted by Sean Guillory

Scan the historical literature of the Russian revolutionary movement and you'll find that Dmitrii Vladimirovich Karakozov occupies no more than a foot…