Michael D. Gordin

Princeton University

Michael D. Gordin is professor of history and director of the Russian and Eurasian studies program at Princeton University. He specializes in the history of the modern physical sciences and Russian history.

Gordin has published articles on a variety of topics, such as the introduction of science into Russia in the early 18th century, the history of biological warfare in the late Soviet period, the relations between Russian literature and science, as well as a series of studies on the life and chemistry of Dmitrii I. Mendeleev, formulator of the periodic system of chemical elements.

He is the author of A Well-Ordered Thing: Dmitrii Mendeleev and the Shadow of the Periodic Table (Basic Books, 2004). He has also worked extensively in the early history of nuclear weapons, and is the author of Five Days in August: How World War II Became a Nuclear War (Princeton, 2007,)and Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly (FSG, 2009).

He also co-edited the four-volume Routledge History of the Modern Physical Sciences (2001), with Peter Galison and David Kaiser, and Intelligentsia Science: The Russian Century, 1860-1960 (2008), with Karl Hall and Alexei Kojevnikov.

Featured Work

JAN 25, 2010 Podcast

Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly

How does a state make a nuclear bomb? How does it hide its weapons program? How do other states detect nuclear proliferation? Gordin addresses important ...