Kristy Ironside

Kristy Ironside
Contact Information

Leacock, Rm 608B
855 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2T7

Email address: 
kristy.ironside [at]
Assistant Professor
Leacock 608B

Ph.D. in History, University of Chicago


Russian and Soviet history, History of Communism, Socialist Political Economy, the Welfare State, the USSR and Russia in the world

Specialization by time period: 
1900 - Today
Office hours: 




Biography: Kristy Ironside is a historian of modern Russia and the Soviet Union. She is especially interested in the political, economic, and social history of Russia and the USSR’s twentieth century. Her first book, A Full-Value Ruble: The Promise of Prosperity in the Postwar Soviet Union, was published with Harvard University Press in 2021. This book looks at how money, an ideologically problematic ‘vestige of capitalism,’ was mobilized by the Soviet government in the intertwined projects of recovering from the Second World War’s damage and building a prosperous communist society. Her articles have appeared in Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review, Slavic Review, Europe-Asia Studies, and The Journal of Social History. Ironside is in the early stages of a new project looking at Russia and the USSR’s fraught relationship to international copyright protections from capitalism to communism, and back to capitalism again. This research is funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant and the Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Société et Culture, soutien à la recherche pour la relève professorale. She is also working on a biography/microhistory of Helen Black, the Soviet Union’s registered foreign agent in America responsible for the official distribution of photographs, music, and literature there, looking more broadly at the business of Soviet soft power under Stalin.

Dr. Ironside is open to working with graduate students on projects exploring Soviet and Eastern European social, political, and economic history, as well as international history.


HIST 216: Introduction to Russian History (fall 2021)
HIST 681: The Rise and Fall of Welfare States in Europe and North America (fall 2021)

HIST 326: History of the Soviet Union (winter 2022)

Selected publications: 

A Full Value-Ruble: The Promise of Prosperity in the Postwar Soviet Union (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2021)

“‘A Writer Deserves to be Paid for His Work’: Progressive American Writers, Foreign Royalties, and the Limits of Soviet Internationalism in the Mid-to-Late 1950s,” Europe’s Internationalists: Rethinking the Short Twentieth Century, eds. Jessica Reinisch and David Brydan (London: Bloomsbury, 2021)

With Étienne Forrestier-Peyrat, “A Communist World of Public Debt? The Failure of a Counter-model” in World of Debts: The Global Politics of Public Debts from the Late 18th Century, eds. Nicholas Barreyre and Nicholas Delalande (London: Palgrave, 2020)

"I Beg You Not to Reject my Plea' : The Late Stalinist Welfare State and the Politics of One - Time Monetary Aid, 1946-1953," Journal of Social History, Vol. 51, No. 4 (2018): 1045-1068

“Between Fiscal, Ideological, and Social Dilemmas: The Soviet ‘Bachelor Tax’ and Post-war Tax Reform, 1941-1962,” Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 69, No. 6 (2017): 855-877

“Stalin’s Doctrine of Price Reductions during the Second World War and Postwar Reconstruction,” Slavic Review, Vol. 75, No. 3 (2016): 655-677

“Khrushchev’s Cash-and-Goods Lotteries and the Turn to Positive Incentives,” The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review, Vol. 41, No. 3 (2014): 296-323

“Rubles for Victory: The Social Dynamics of State Fundraising on the Soviet Home Front,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, Vol. 15, No. 4 (2014): 799-828

Non-academic publications:

"The crisis that could bring down Putin's presidency," The Washington Post, July 26, 2018


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