Professor Stephen Kotkin has won the 17th annual Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Arthur Ross Book Award for “Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941,” the second volume of a definitive biography of Joseph Stalin.
The second book in the series covers major events in the Soviet Union from collectivization and the Great Terror to the conflict with Germany under Adolf Hitler. Kotkin, the John P. Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, will receive $15,000.
“Deeply researched, richly textured and eminently readable, Kotkin has written a brilliant book that explores some of the most consequential events of the twentieth century,” said Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs and chair of the award jury, which includes CFR members, but reaches its decision independently of the institution. Kotkin's first volume, “Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928,” was awarded the Silver Medal in 2015.
Endowed by the late Arthur Ross in 2001, the book award honors nonfiction works, in English or translation, that bring forth new information that changes the understanding of events or problems, develop analytical approaches that offer insight into critical issues, or introduce ideas that help resolve foreign policy problems.
Kotkin and the other awardees will be honored at a reception at CFR's headquarters on Dec. 4.
“Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941” also previously won the Mark Lynton History Prize, awarded by Columbia Journalism School and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.