Quondam Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford
Professor em. Department of History, Tel Aviv University
Founder and Director of the Cummings Center for Russian Studies, TAU, 1989-2007
Gabriel Gorodetsky, MA, D.Phil., Hon. Litt.D., is a quondam fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and professor emeritus of history at Tel Aviv University.
After completing his BA studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem he went on to write a D. Phil dissertation in Russian Studies at Oxford University under the supervision of E.H. Carr, author of What is History and a multi volume history of the Russian Revolution. He was the founder and director of the Cummings Center for Russian Studies at Tel Aviv University 1989-2007.
As head of the Center he was directly involved in the laborious process of the resumption of Russian-Israeli relations in 1989-1995. The Center acted as a bridge between Russian and Western historians during the exciting decade following the demise of the Soviet Union. Editor of The Cummings Center Series, Prof. Gorodetsky initiated and edited, inter alia, the official joint publication of documents on Soviet-Israeli relations under the auspices of the Israeli and Russian Foreign Ministries.
Gorodetsky was a visiting fellow of St. Antony’s College, Oxford, the Wilson Center, Washington DC, All Souls College, Oxford, the Rockefeller Bellagio Research Center, a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and of the Institute for Advanced Study in Freiburg. He was also a visiting Professor at the Universities of Munich, Cologne, and the Central European University in Budapest. In 2010 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow.
Gorodetsky has published widely on Soviet foreign policy in the interwar period and the
Second World War. Among his leading works are The Precarious Truce: Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1924-1927 (Cambridge University Press, 1977), Stafford Cripps' Mission to Moscow, 1940-1942 (Cambridge University Press, 1984), Mif Ledolkola (The Icebreaker Myth) published in Moscow in 1995, in which he lay to rest the ‘preemptive war’ conspiracy theory on the German Invasion of Russia in 1941, raised by a defector of the Russian military intelligence. It was followed up by the publication of the Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia (Yale, University Press, 1999), appearing also in French, German, Russian and Hebrew, to international critical acclaim.
Presently he is engaged in completing a critical review of the Grand Alliance - a sequel to Grand Delusion.
A clarinettist, he has been pursuing also a modest musical “career”. In the earlier stages of his academic career, he played freelance with the Israeli Broadcasting Orchestra in Jerusalem and the Israeli Sinfonietta. In the past two decades he focused mostly on chamber music, performing in Israel, Russial, Germany, Italy and Great Britain together with the late Alexander Volkov of the Israeli Piano Trio, Hillel Tsori, Yuri Gandelsman of the Fine Arts Quartet, Helmut Menzler of the Pelligrini Quartet, Freiburg, the late pianist Igor Khudolei, Moscow, and most recently the renowned German pianist Silke Avenhaus and the London based soprano Anna Sideris.
Most recently he produced a thoroughly researched, annotated, three volumes of The Complete Maisky Diaries (Yale University Press, 2018). A compendium volume, The Maisky diaries: Red Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, was published by Yale University Press in 2015. It was selected by eight leading British newspapers and magazines as the history book of the year, and was short listed for the prestigious Pushkin House prize in London. It further inspired the documentary produced by the Arte TV channel, Le Pacte Hitler-Staline. Gorodetsky went on to prepare different special versions of the compendium in seven languages.
He is married to Ruth Herz, a former judge in Cologne, judge in the RTL Television court show Das Jugendgericht (2001–2005), author of Recht Persönlich (Beck, 2006) and The Art of Justice: The Judge's Perspective (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2013). He has two sons, Jonathan and Daniel.