Interview with Norman Naimark--July 26, 2013

Interview with Norman NaimarkRobert and Florence McDonnell Professor in East European Studies at Stanford University. Interview conducted in Ithaca, NY on July 26, 2013.

Naimark is the author of several books including two on the nineteenth-century Russian and Polish revolutionary movements, a seminal work on The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949 (1997), another on ethnic cleansing, Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe (2002), and most recently a book on Stalin's Genocides (2011). He is also editor and co-editor of a number of volumes, such as The Establishment of Communist Regims in Eastern Europe, 1944-1949 (1998) and Yugoslavia and Its Historians: Understanding the Balkan Wars of the 1990s (2003).

Interview Themes

The path Naimark followed to becoming a historian of East-Central Europe (1:17)
On Naimark's first visit to the region (Yugoslavia 1964/5 and Poland 68/9) (7:41)
How how Naimark came to write his dissertation on the 19th-century party, Wielki Proletariat [Great Proletariat] (11:35)
The origins of Naimark's first two books: The History of the "Proletariat": The Emergence of Marxism in the Kingdom of Poland, 1870-1887 (1979) and Terrorists and Social Democrats: The Russian Revolutionary Movement under Alexander III (1983) (13:28)
On asking "big questions" (26:25)
On writing history with the contemporary political situation in mind (34:22)
Area studies and inter-disicplinarity: parallel decline? (40:34)
How Naimark defines the region he studies (44:29)
Books that have had an intellectual influence on Naimark (48:29)
Naimark on mentorship and his own mentor, Wayne Vucinich (53:51) -- see also Naimark's essay on this topic "How Historians Repeat Themselves"
Commonalities between Naimark's students' work (1:05:10)
What remains to be done in the field of East-Central European history (1:11:22)
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