W. Bruce Lincoln Book Prize

2023 Citation Recipient

Alessandro Iandolo

The W. Bruce Lincoln Book Prize, sponsored by Mary Lincoln, is awarded annually for an author’s first published monograph or scholarly synthesis that is of exceptional merit and lasting significance for the understanding of Russia’s past. The prize was established in 2004 in memory of W. Bruce Lincoln, a Russian historian and a widely- read author.

Winner: Alessandro Iandolo, University College London
Title: Arrested Development: The Soviet Union in Ghana, Guinea, and Mali, 1955-1968 (Cornell University Press)

An innovative example of how the history of the Cold War is being revised and nuanced, Arrested Development investigates Khrushchev-era development programs in Western Africa during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Alessandro Iandolo reveals Soviet aid to have been designed to court allies and trading partners rather than foment revolution and demonstrates assistance programs to have been administered in ways that were more pragmatic than governed by ideological template. Based on archival research in Russia, Ghana, Mali, and an array of other countries, Arrested Development convincingly argues that Soviet internationalism during the Cold War varied more widely over time than previously believed.

Honorable Mention: Franziska Exeler, Free University of Berlin/University of Cambridge
Title: Ghosts of War: Nazi Occupation and Its Aftermath in Soviet Belarus (Cornell University Press)

A sweeping study of Belarus both during and after the Second World War, Ghosts of War focuses both on the nature of the Nazi occupation and its echoes once Soviet authority was reestablished within the republic. Franziska Exeler stresses the manifold nature of the Belarusian wartime experience, shedding light on the trials and tribulations of various geographical, demographic, and ethnographic communities. Exeler also examines the relationship between the empirical ordeal of war and the memory politics that followed as an array of actors attempted to make sense of the suffering. Ultimately, Exeler tells a compelling story of how Belarusian society was forced to experience the horrors of war for decades after June 22, 1941.