Stephen Cohen

Stephen Cohen

Formal First Name
1938 - 2020

Stephen F. Cohen was Professor of Russian Studies and History at New York University and Professor Emeritus of Politics at Princeton University. His academic work concentrated on modern Russian history since the Bolshevik Revolution and Russia's relationship with the United States. Dr. Cohen was a renowned historian of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, considered as one of the top U.S. experts on Russian history and policy. Well-known in both Russian and American circles, Dr. Cohen was an antagonist of cold-war ideologies in U.S. policy toward Russia, and a sponsor of the Stephen Cohen-Robert Tucker Dissertation Fellowships that supported young scholars’ research in the post-Soviet states. He frequently developed contacts among intellectual dissidents and government and Communist Party officials. He was also a consultant and on-air commentator on Russian affairs for CBS News, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Cohen wrote or edited 10 books and many articles for The Nation, The New York Times and other publications.

Professional Experience

Academic History


  • He was a close personal friend of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, and advised former President George H.W. Bush in the late 1980s.

  • He helped Nikolai Bukhari's widow, Anna Larina, rehabilitate her name during the Soviet era, and met Joseph Stalin's daughter, Svetlana.


  • War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate (2019)

  • Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War (2011)

  • The Victims Return: Survivors of the Gulag After Stalin (2011)

  • Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia (2000)

  • Voices of Glasnost: Interviews With Gorbachev's Reformers (1989)

  • Sovieticus: American Perceptions and Soviet Realities (1986)

  • Rethinking the Soviet Experience: Politics and History Since 1917 (1985)

  • An End to Silence: Uncensored Opinion in the Soviet Union, from Roy Medvedev's Underground Magazine "Political Diary" (1982)

  • Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888–1938 (1980)