Harold Shukman (23 March 1931 – 11 July 2012) was a British historian, specializing in the history of Russia.[1][2][3]

He was born in London to a family of Jewish immigrants escaping from the Russian empire. After college and national service, he took the Russian course at the Joint Services School for Linguists, in Cambridge and Bodmin, Cornwall. Afterwards, he went on to study Russian and Serbo-Croat at Nottingham University, gaining a first-class degree. He wrote his PhD thesis at Oxford University, his topic being the Jewish Labour Bund. Having completed his doctorate in 1960, he took up an academic career at Oxford where he eventually became the director of the Russian centre at St Antony's College. He retired in 1998.

In addition to numerous academic works, he also translated books by Anatoli Rybakov (Children of the Arbat) and Dmitri Volkogonov.

He was married twice. His first wife was Ann King-Farlow, also a Russian scholar, and his second wife Barbara Jacobs, an artist. His son Henry Shukman is a well-known travel writer and novelist. Another son David Shukman is a science journalist.

Selected works

  • Lenin and the Russian Revolution (1967)
  • Stalin (1999)
  • A History of World Communism (1975) (with William Deakin and H.T. Willetts)
  • (ed.) The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Russian Revolution (1988)
  • (ed.) Agents for Change: Intelligence Services in the 21st Century (2000)
  • Secret Classrooms: An Untold Story of the Cold War (2006) (with Geoffrey Elliott)
  • War or Revolution: Russian Jews and Conscription in Britain, 1917 (2006)