David Brandenberger has written on Stalin-era propaganda, ideology and nationalism in journals like Russian Review, Slavic Review, Kritika, Revolutionary Russia, Nationality Papers, Europe-Asia Studies, Jahrbuecher fuer Geschichte Osteuropas, Noveishaia istoriia Rossii and Voprosy istorii. His first book, National Bolshevism: Stalinist Mass Culture and the Formation of Modern Russian National Identity, 1931-1956 (Harvard, 2002), focuses on the USSR's reliance on russocentric mobilizational propaganda and the effect that this pragmatic use of historical heroes, imagery and iconography had on national consciousness among Russian-speakers, both during the Stalin period and after.
His second book, an interdisciplinary co-edited volume titled Epic Revisionism: Russian History and Literature as Stalinist Propaganda (Wisconsin, 2006), elaborates on many of these themes in its examination of the Stalin regime's co-option of canonical classics from Pushkin and Lermontov to Peter the Great and Ivan the Terrible. His third book, Propaganda State in Crisis: Soviet Ideology, Indoctrination and Terror under Stalin, 1928-1941 (Yale, 2011), explores the USSR’s failure to inculcate a sense of communist identity in interwar Soviet society—a failure that precipitated the mobilizational exigencies detailed in his earlier books. His fourth book, Stalin’s Master Narrative (Yale, 2019), is a co-edited critical edition of the general secretary’s infamous 1938 party history textbook. He is presently writing a book on the 1949 Leningrad Affair, Stalin's last political purge, and co-editing the purge-era diary of a high-ranking member of the USSR’s Politburo.
Recent Grants and Fellowships
2017 Fulbright Research Grant
2019 National Council of Eurasian and East European Research
Propaganda State in Crisis: Soviet Ideology, Indoctrination and Terror under Stalin, 1928-1941 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011), 357 pp. Published in Russian in revised first edition as Krizis stalinskogo agitpropa: Propaganda, politprosveshchenie i terror, 1927-1941 (Moscow: Rosspen, 2017). 370 pp.
National Bolshevism: Stalinist Mass Culture and the Formation of Modern Russian National Identity, 1931-1956 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002), 378 pp. Published in Russian in revised and expanded first edition as Natsional-Bol’shevizm: stalinskaia massovaia kul’tura i formirovanie russkogo natsional’nogo samosoznaniia, 1931-1956 gg., revised edition (St. Petersburg: Akademicheskii proekt, 2009), 416 pp. Published in Russian in second edition as Stalinskii russotsentrizm: Sovetskaia massovaia kul’tura i formirovanie russkogo natsional’nogo samosoznaniia, 1931-1956 gg., second edition (Moscow: Rosspen, 2017), 407 pp.
Stalin’s Master Narrative: a Critical Edition of the Short Course on the History of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks), co-edited with Mikhail Zelenov (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019), 744 pp. Published in Russian in expanded, two-volume edition as Kratkii kurs istorii VKP(b): Tekst i ego istoriia, co-edited with M. V. Zelenov, 2 vols. (Moscow: Rosspen, 2014—), vol. 1: 792 pp.
“Istoriia grazhdanskoi voiny v SSSR” (1935). Istoriia teksta i tekst istorii. [“The History of the Civil War in the USSR” (1935). The History of the Text and the Historic Text.] Co-edited with M. V. Zelenov (Moscow: Rosspen, 2017). 606 pp.
Dnevnik istorika S. A. Piontkovskogo [The Diary of the Historian S. A. Piontkovskii], co-edited with A. L. Litvin and A. M. Dubrovskii (Kazan’: Kazan’ State University Press, 2009), 515 pp.
Political Humor under Stalin: An Anthology of Unofficial Jokes and Anecdotes (Bloomington: Slavica, 2009), 158 pp.
Epic Revisionism: Russian History and Literature as Stalinist Propaganda, co-edited with Kevin M. F. Platt (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), 354 pp.
The Unknown Lenin: From the Secret Archive, edited by Richard Pipes with the assistance of David Brandenberger (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996), 202 pp.