Kristy Ironside

Kristy Ironside
Contact Information

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

Email address: 
kristy.ironside [at]
Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar
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: 

By Appointment


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, The Journal of Social History, Cahiers du Monde Russe, and Russian History. She also frequently provides media commentary on contemporary developments in the Russian economy and society. Ironside is in the early stages of three new book projects. The first looks 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. The second is a microhistory of the life and work of Helen Black, the Soviet Union’s registered foreign agent in America responsible for the official distribution of photographs, music, and literature there 1931-1951, looking more broadly at the business of Soviet soft power under Stalin. Finally, she is writing a book, McDonald’s and the Opening and Closing of Russia, which looks at its economic transformation from the late Soviet period to the present through the lens of the multinational fast food chain’s presence there.

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.

Please note that she is on sabbatical in AY 2023-2024.

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