Dr. Lewin, History

Moshe "Misha" Lewin, professor emeritus of history, died August 14, 2010, in Paris, France. He was 88 years old.

Dr. Lewin was born in Wilno, Poland in 1921 to ethnic Jewish parents who died in the Holocaust. He moved to the Soviet Union in 1941 ahead of the invading Nazis and enlisted in the Soviet army in 1943. He received his BA from Tel Aviv University, Israel in 1961. That same year he received a research scholarship to study at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he earned a PhD in 1964. He served for one year as director of study at L’École des hautes études in Paris, before becoming a senior fellow at Columbia University in New York City. Prior to his arrival at Penn in 1978, Dr. Lewin was a research professor for 10 years at Birmingham University in England. As a professor of history at Penn, Dr. Lewin was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 1995. He retired and was accorded emeritus status that same year.

Dr. Lewin was known as one of the most influential scholars of Russian and Soviet history in the world. He was the author of many books, including Russian Peasant and Soviet Power (1968), Lenin’s Last Struggle (1968), Political Undercurrents in Soviet Economic Debates (1974), The Making of the Soviet System (1985), Stalinism and the Seeds of Soviet Reform: The Debates of the 1960s (1991) and many more.

In 1992, Dr. Lewin was honored with a Festschrift entitled Stalinism: Its Nature and Aftermath: Essays in Honor of Moshe Lewin.

The University of Pennsylvania Archives and Records Center holds his collection of papers from 1950 to 1995.