Organized Terror in the Modern State

170814 Robert Niebuh NN 0881Today, terrorist attacks, often associated with ISIS, can happen anywhere in the world. As traumatic as these attacks are, they pale in comparison to Joseph Stalin’s reign of terror, when more than one million Soviet citizens were killed and as many as 10 million were sent to the gulag.

At 10 a.m. Jan. 22, Robert Niebuhr, Ph.D., a faculty fellow at Arizona State University, will discuss how Stalin consolidated his power through the dramatic reign of terror. Niebuhr maintains that consolidation was instrumental in uniting the Soviet people in support of Soviet ideology and ultimately the triumph against Hitler.

He will also describe what was happening in the Soviet Union before and during World War II, and will discuss Stalin’s legacy and Soviet policies in Eastern Europe after his death in 1953.

An ASU graduate, Niebuhr earned his doctorate degree in history from Boston College, where his graduate work focused on politics in former Yugoslavia during the Cold War. Niebuhr originally worked on topics in modern German history as an undergraduate and has since nurtured an array of academic interests, including global studies, travel history, languages, military studies and diplomacy of the modern era.

He has spent several years living and studying abroad, beginning with a year in Croatia as a Fulbright scholar and most recently for the past two years in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. In Bolivia, Niebuhr taught at Universidad Nur and Universidad Católica Boliviana “San Pablo” and is currently finalizing a paper that stems from original research on political change in Bolivia following the Chaco War (1930s).

In addition, Niebuhr is finishing another book on the origins of the Cold War, with an emphasis on the early diplomacy emanating from Belgrade. In 2010, Niebuhr wrote When East Met West: World History Through Travelers’ Perspectives.

At ASU, Niebuhr teaches classes on political and military history, including Hitler, Stalin and the causes of war. Niebuhr is also part of the affiliated faculty at ASU’s Melikian Center: Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies and The Center on the Future of War.

Tickets to all Monday Morning lectures are $4 at the door of the Renaissance Theater.

For more information about Niebuhr, see his biography.

For more information about Stalin, Niebuhr recommends: