Joseph Bradley - Faculty & Adjuncts

Joseph Bradley, PhD

Joseph Bradley, PhD
Professor Emeritus of History
College of Arts & Sciences


PhD – Harvard University MA – Harvard University BA – University of Wisconsin


Joseph Bradley's research has focused on the processes of social and cultural change and the interaction between the state and society in tsarist Russia. His first two books studied the strains on urban infrastructure posed by massive peasant immigration as well as government efforts to transform the Russian small arms industry. His third book examined the role of voluntary associations in the development of civil society in imperial Russia. Using some of Russia's most prominent learned societies as case studies, Bradley analyzed the ways in which educated Russians took initiative, formed a public, and broke down the sense of isolation inherent in authoritarian regimes. This study of associations allows us to examine afresh the relationship between state and society and to understand the process by which subjects were becoming citizens.

His training in Russian and modern European history informs a comparative approach in my teaching and scholarship on Russia. His comparative training and interests have allowed him to teach seminars on the European middle class, themes in European history and literature, and on the role of civic organizations in American history. Bradley has had extensive experience living and working in Russia and the former Soviet Union, including a stint as an editor in a Moscow publishing house. This experience helped him to teach, in the 1980s, a popular class titled "The Soviet Union Today." Beginning in the 1990s, he has returned to Russia almost every summer to continue research and keep up with current developments.

Bradley's current research project is a history of the Moscow Polytechnical Museum, the nation's premier site for popularizing science and technology from its founding in 1872, through revolution and Stalinism, up to the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

Research Interests

Modern Russian history, in particular the rise and fall of civil society in Russia and the Soviet Union
The processes of social and cultural change and the interaction between the state and society in tsarist Russia

Teaching Interests

Russian and modern European History with courses including:
Russia and the West
Russian Revolution
Imperial and Soviet Russia
Nazi Germany
History and Literature



  • Obshchestvennye organizatsii v tsarskoi Rossii: Nauka, patriotism i Grazhdanskoe obshchestvo (Russian translation). Novyi Khronograf Press, Moscow, 2012

  • Associations in Tsarist Russia: Science, Patriotism and Civil Society. Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press, 2009

  • Guns for the Tsar: American Technology and the Small Arms Industry in Nineteenth-century Russia. DeKalb, Illinois: Northern Illinois University Press), 1990

  • Muzhik and Muscovite: Urbanization in Late Imperial Russia Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985

Journal Articles

  • “The St. Petersburg Literacy Committee and Russian Education: Government Tutelage or Public Trust?” Russian Review 71, no. 2 (April 2012): 267-294

  • “Dobrovol’nye assotsiatsii, grazdanskoe obshchestvo i samoderzhavie v pozdneimperskoi Rossii,” in Rossiiskaia Istoriia no. 2 (2011): 3-26

  • “Sankt-Peterburgskii komitet gramotnosti i russkoe obrazovanie: ob”ekt pravitel’stvennoi opeki ili obshchestvennoe predpriiatie?” (pt. 1) Grazhdanskoe obshchestvo v Rossii i za rubezhom no. 3(2011): 16-21

  • “Pictures at an Exhibition: Science, Patriotism and Civil Society in Imperial Russia,” Slavic Review 67, no. 4 (Winter 2008): 934-966

  • “Nauka v gorode: Osnovanie Moskovskogo politekhnicheskogo muzeia,” Rossiia XXI no. 2 (2005): 96-127

  • “Subjects into Citizens: Societies, Civil Society and the State in Tsarist Russia,” The American Historical Review 107, no. 4 (October 2002): 1094-1123.

  • “Dobrovol’nye obshchestva i grazhdanskoe obshchestvo v Moskve (Voluntary
    Societies and Civil Society in Moscow)” Obshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost’ (The Social Sciences and Modernity), no. 5 (1994): 77-89

  • “Dobrovol’nye obshchestva v Sovetskoi Rossii, 1917-1932 gg. (Voluntary Societies
    in Soviet Russia, 1917-1932)” Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta, ser. 8: Istoriia, no. 4 (1994): 34-44

  • Robert W. Thurston, Liberal City, Conservative State: Moscow and Russia’s Urban Crises, 1906-1914 for Journal of Social History 23, no. 3 (1989): 665-668.

  • “The Writer and the City in Late Imperial Russia,” Slavonic and East European Review (London), Vol. 64, no. 3 (July 1986): 319-338

  • “`Once you’ve Eaten Khitrov Soup You’ll Never Leave!’: The Slum in Pre-revolutionary Urban Russia,” Russian History, 11, no.1 (Spring 1984): 1-28 (Reprinted in Articles on Russian and Soviet History, 1500-1990, vol. 3)

  • “The Moscow Workhouse and Urban Welfare Reform in Russia,” Russian Review, 41,
    no. 4 (October 1982): 427-444

  • “Patterns of Peasant Migration into Moscow: How Much Should We Read into Literacy Rates?” Russian History, Vol. 6, Pt. 1 (1979): 22-38

Book Chapters

  • “Russian Congresses, 1861-1904: Advocacy in the Public Sphere,” in Jörg Hackmann, ed., Vereinskultur und Zivilgesellschaft in Nordosteuropa/Associational Culture and Civil Society in North Eastern Europe: Regional Features and the European Context (Vienna and Cologne: Bohlau Verlag, 2012): 547-592

  • “Russkoe tekhnicheskoe obshchestvo,” in A. S. Tumanova, ed., Samoorganizatsiia rossiiskoi obshchestvennosti v poslednei treti XVIII-nachale XX v. (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2011), pp. 520-578

  • Nauka v gorode: Osnovanie Moskovskogo Politekhnicheskogo muzeia,” in T. A. Abrosimova and B. I. Kolonitskii, eds., Kul’tura gorodov Rossiiskoi Imperii na rubezhe XIX-XX vekov: Materialy mezhdunarodnogo kollokviuma, Sankt-Peterburga 14-17 iiunia 2004 g. (St. Petersburg: Evropeiskii dom, 2009).

  • “Civil Society and Forms of Association: The Russian Case in European Perspective,” [in Russian] in Bianka Petrov-Enker and Galina Ulianova, eds., Grazhdanskaia identichnost’ i sfera grazhdanskoi deiatel’nosti v
    Rossiiskoi imperii vtoraia polovina XIX-nachalo XX veka [Civic Identity and the Public Sphere in Imperial Russia]
    (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2007): 63-99

  • “Kupecheskaia Moskva posle roboty: Dobrovol’nye obshchestva i dosuga,” Kupecheskaia Moskva: Obrazy ushedshe Rossiiskoi burzhazii trans. from
    English (Moscow: Rosspen, 2007): 193-206

  • “Civil Society,” Europe, 1789-1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of Industry and Empire (Thomson-Gale Group, 2006), 1: 464-469

  • “Nauka v gorode: Osnovanie Moskovskogo politekhnicheskogo muzeia,” Rossiia XXI no. 2 (2005): 96-127

  • “Civil Society,” Supplement to the Modern Encyclopedia of Russian, Soviet and Eurasian History (Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press), vol. 6 (2005): 123-135

  • “Merchant Moscow After Hours: Voluntary Associations and Leisure,” in James L.
    West and Iurii A. Petrov, eds. Merchant Moscow: Images of a Vanished Bourgeoisie (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998): 133-146

  • “Alexander I,” in James Madison and the American Nation, 1751-1836: An Encyclopedia, ed. Robert Rutland (New York: Simon Schuster, 1994)

  • “Russia’s Parliament of Public Opinion: Association, Assembly and the Autocracy, 1906-1914,” in Theodore Taranovski, ed., Reform in Russian and Soviet History (Cambridge University Press, 1994): 212-236

  • “Russian Urbanization,” Encyclopedia of Social History, ed. Peter N. Stearns (New York: Garland, 1994): 647-649

  • “Voluntary Associations, Civic Culture and Obshchestvennost’ in Moscow”, in Edith Clowes, Samuel Kassow and James West, eds., Between Tsar and People: Educated Society and the Quest for Public Identity in Late Imperial Russia, (Princeton, 1991): 131-148

  • “Moscow: From Big Village to Metropolis,” in Michael Hamm, ed., The City in Late Imperial Russia (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986): 9-41

  • Bradley , J. Russkoe Tekhnicheskoe Obshchestvo V 1905-Om Godu. 1905: Entsiklopediia.
  • “Associations in Times of Political Turmoil: Science Societies and the Bolshevik Regime, 1917-1921,” in Russia’s Great War and Revolution, 1914-1921: The Centennial Reappraisal (Bloomington, In: Slavica, 2014, forthcoming)

Translation or Transcriptions

  • “The Sources of Anthropometric Data: Representativeness, Accuracy and Homogeneity,” ch. 3 of Boris Mironov, The Standard of Living and Revolutions in Russia, 1700-1917, Gregory L. Freeze, ed. (Routledge Explorations in Economic History) (London: Routledge, 2012)

  • Review of Pavel Ilyin and Blair A. Ruble, eds., Moskva rubezha XIX i Stoletii: Vzgliad v proshloe izdaleka (Moscow: Rosspen, 2004) by Galina Ulianova, for Russian Review 64, no. 3 (July 2005): 526-27

  • “The Nobility and the Urban Estates,” in Boris N. Mironov, The Social History of Imperial Russia, 1700-1917, vol. 1 (Boulder, Col.: Westview, 2000): 371-424. Translation from Chapter 7 of B.N. Mironov, Sotsial’naia istoriia Rossii, vol. 1 (St. Petersburg: Dmitrii Bulanin, 1999.

  • The Soviet Aluminum Industry, Falls Church, Va: Delphic Associates, 1983

Research Reports

  • The State and Civil Society in Russia: The Role of Nongovernmental Associations (Washington, D.C.: Title VIII Program Report for the National Council for Soviet and East European Research, 1997)

Book Reviews

  • Elisa M. Becker, Medicine, Law, and the State in Imperial Russia. Budapest-New York: Central European University Press, 2011 in Journal of Modern History 85, no. 4 (December 2013): 985-987

  • I.S. Rozental’, “I vot obshchestvennoe mnenie!”: Kluby v istorii Rossiiskoi obshchestvennosti, konets XVIII-nachalo XX vv. (Moscow, 2007); and A.S. Tumanova, Obshchestvennye organizatsii i russkaia publika v nachale XX veka (Moscow, 2008) in Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 12, no. 1 (Winter 2011): 249-261

  • Roxanne Easley, The Emancipation of the Serfs in Russia: Peace Arbitrators and The Development of Civil Society (London: Routledge, 2009) for Russian Review 68, no. 4 (October 2009): 708-709

  • Wendy Rosslyn, Deeds, not Words: The Origins of Women’s Philanthropy in the Russian Empire (Birmingham Slavonic Monographs, no. 37) Birmingham: University of Birmingham Press, 2007 for Slavic Review, vol. 68, no. 2 (Summer 2009): 433-434

  • Susan P. McCaffray and Michael Melancon, eds., Russia in the European Context, 1789-1914: A Member of the Family (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) reviewed for The American Historical Review (October 2006): 1281-1283

  • A. S. Tumanova, Samoderzhavie i obshchestvennye organizatsii v Rossii, 1905-1917 [Autocracy and Public Organizations in Russia, 1905-1917] reviewed for Slavic Review 64, no. 3 (Fall 2005): 666-667

  • Abraham Ascher, P.A. Stolypin: The Search for Stability in Late Imperial Russia Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001 Journal of Modern History, 75, no. 2 (June 2003): 477-479

  • Galina N. Ulianova, Blagotvoritel’nost’ moskovskikh predprinimatelei 1860-1914 (Moscow: Ob”edinenie “Mosgorarkhiv”, 1999) reviewed for Otechestvennaia Istoriia, no. 3 (2001): 196-199

  • Patricia Herlihy, Odessa: A History, 1794-1914 for Slavic Review 47, no. 3 (Fall 1988): 536-537.

  • Reginald E. Zelnik, ed. and trans., A Radical Worker in Tsarist Russia: The Autobiography of Semen Ivanovich Kanatchikov for Slavic Review 47, no. 1 (Spring 1988): 124-125.

  • Norman Saul, Concord and Conflict: The United States and Russia, 1867-1914 (University Press of Kansas, 1996) for Slavic Review, vol. 56, no. 3 (Fall 1997): 567-68

  • “Russia’s Cities of Dreadful Delight,” Journal of Urban History, 24, no. 1 (November 1997): 120-129 [review article]

  • Elise Kimmerling Wirtschafter, Structures of Society: Imperial Russia’s “People of Various Ranks” for The American Historical Review 101, no. 3 (June 1996): 878-879.

  • Mark D. Steinberg, Moral Communities: The Culture of Class Relations in the Russian Printing Industry, 1867-1907 for Russian Review 53, no. 3 (July 1994): 452-454.

  • Daniel R. Brower, The Russian City between Tradition and Modernity, 1850-1900 for Slavic Review 53, no. 1 (Spring 1994): 248-249.

  • Thomas C. Owen, The Corporation under Russian Law, 1800-1917: A Study in Tsarist Economic Policy for The American Journal of Legal History 37, no. 3 (July 1993): 373-374.

  • Charles A. Ruud, Russian Entrepreneur: Publisher Ivan Sytin of Moscow, 1851-1934 for The American Historical Review (December 1991): 1579-1580

  • Battison, Edwin A., ed. Description of the Tula Weapon Factory in Regard to Historical and Technical Aspects for Technology and Culture 32, no. 2, pt. 1 (April 1991): 442-443.

  • Resnick, Abraham, The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for Harvar6d SEELAC Book Review Project (1986)

  • Weaver, Kitty, Russia’s Future: The Communist Education of Soviet Youth for East/West Education 10, no. 1 (Spring 1986): 60-61.

  • Victoria E. Bonnell, ed., The Russian Worker: Life and Labor under the Tsarist Regime for Slavic Review 44, no. 1 (April 1985): 113.

  • B. N. Kazantsev, Rabochie Moskvy i Moskovskoi gubernii v seredine XIX veka and M. K. Rozhkova, Formirovanie kadrov promyshlennykh rabochikh v
    60kh-nachale 80kh godov XIX v.: Po materialam Moskovskoi gubernii
    for Kritika 14, no. 2 (Spring 1978): 106-121.

  • Iu. I. Kir’ianov, Zhiznennyi uroven’ rabochikh Rossii (konets XIX-nachalo XX vv.) for Kritika 17, no. 2 (Summer 1981): 87-103.

  • A. Tarkovskii and A. Konchalovskii, Andrei Rublev for Kritika 10, no. 2 (Spring 1974): 111-120.


  • “Russian Liberalism,” Editor’s Introduction to Russian Studies in History, vol. 37, no. 3 (Winter 1998-99): 3-6

  • “Russian National Interest,” Editor’s Introduction to Russian Studies in History, vol. 38, no. 1 (Summer 1999): 3-6

  • “Koval’chenko and Iskenderov on Theories of History,” Editor’s Introduction to Russian Studies in History, vol. 37, no. 4 (Spring 1999): 3-5

  • “The Russian Nation: Historical Destiny in the 20th Century,” Editor’s Introduction to Russian Studies in History, vol. 37, no. 2 (Fall 1998): 3-7

  • “Russia–A Divided Civilization?” Editor’s Introduction to Russian Studies in History, vol. 36, no. 1 (Summer 1997): 3-7

  • “Was the USSR Planning to Attack Germany in 1941?” Editor’s Introduction to Russian Studies in History, vol. 36, no. 2 (Fall 1997): 3-7

  • “Was the October Revolution Socialist?” Editor’s Introduction to Russian Studies in History, vol. 33, no. 4 (winter 1994-95): 3-7

  • “War Communism,” Editor’s Introduction to Russian Studies in History, vol. 33, no. 1 (summer 1994): 3-7

  • “Russia after the Coup: Rethinking the Past,” Contribution to the “Teaching Slavic Studies” column in the AAASS Newsletter (November,1991): 5