hansen chair in history, university of melbourne

Soviet History




School of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Room 516, Arts West (West Wing) The University of Melbourne Victoria 3010


+61 3 8344 0523


Historian of the Soviet Union

Mark Edele is a historian of the Soviet Union and its successor states, in particular Russia. He is the inaugural Hansen Professor in History at The University of Melbourne as well as an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. He was trained as a historian at the Universities of Erlangen, Tübingen, Moscow and Chicago. His publications include Soviet Veterans of the Second World War (2008), Stalinist Society (2011), Stalin’s Defectors (2017), Shelter from the Holocaust: Rethinking Jewish Survival in the Soviet Union (with Atina Grossmann and Sheila Fitzpatrick, 2017), and The Soviet Union. A Short History (2019). He is currently working on three books: a historiography of Stalinism, a history of Stalinism at war, and (with Martin Crotty and Neil Diamant) a global history of war veterans.

Key Research Areas

Soviet Union in the Second World War, historiography, Stalinism, war and post-war Soviet society, war and displacement, History of veterans (Soviet and comparative).

Latest news

Jonathan House of the US Army Command and General Staff College reviews Stalin’s Defectors in Russian Review 77.1 (2018): 160-61. Excerpt: “This brief review cannot do justice to the sophisticated quantitative and qualitative analysis. Edele has produced. This is a highly readable, thought-provoking book that addresses key issues of both wartime defection and loyalty to the Stalinist regime."

Stalin’s Defectors reviewed by Robert Dale in Slavonic and East European Review 2018/4. Excerpt: “Stalin’s Defectors works across a rich palette of sources and approaches, combining military, intellectual, statistical, social and cultural approaches to the past with fascinating results. Edele writes fluently and precisely, and is careful to not stretch his evidence too far. The book makes an important contribution to ongoing debates about the war on the Eastern Front between 1941 and 1945, and deserves to read widely, by anybody interested in either side of this conflict.”

The recording of my  Dean's Lecture at the University of Melbourne, 3 September 2018, is now available: Why and How the Soviet Union Won the Second World War in Europe.

My review of Timothy Snyder's Road to Unfreedom was published by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald on 27 July 2018.

Is Putin making Russia great again? ABC Radio National Sunday Extra Roundtable with Karine Orlova and Kyle Wilson, 22 July 2018. 

Remembering the Battle of Kursk after 75 years. My essay for Pursuit13 July 2018. 

Stalin's Defectors (OUP 2017) has been reviewed in The Guardian and Times Higher Education


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