Mikhail Tomsky, who is best known as the chairman of Soviet trade unions and a member of the “Right Opposition” to Stalin in the Politburo, also played a central role in international affairs during the 1920s. Tomsky orchestrated one of the Soviet Union’s few foreign policy achievements of the period, the creation of the Anglo-Russian Committee in 1924, linking British and Soviet trade unions together. Tomsky achieved this success by charming British trade unionists while holding his hardline Soviet critics at bay. But his balancing act between the moderate trade union leaders in London, who proved open to his overtures in the mid-1920s, and critics of his pragmatic policies in Moscow following the failure of the 1926 British general strike, could not be sustained and the Anglo-Russian Committee collapsed in 1927.
Charters Wynn, who received his Ph.D. from Stanford University, is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Frank Denius Normandy Scholar Program. He has been awarded numerous teaching awards, including The President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award. The American Historical Association awarded Professor Wynn’s book, Workers, Strikes, and Pogroms, the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize for the best first book in European history. Professor Wynn is working on a biography entitled, “The Moderate Bolshevik: Mikhail Tomsky from the Factory to the Kremlin.” He is an IHS Fellow in 2017-2018. Dr. Wynn’s research has been featured on Not Even Past, including interviews and original essays on: Order No. 227: Stalinist Methods and Victory on the Eastern Front; Lend-Lease; Election Fraud! Read All About It!; The Normandy Scholar Program on World War II; and Digital Teaching: The Stalinist Purges on Video.
Read more about Dr. Wynn and his work at:
Judith G. Coffin
Professor of History
The University of Texas at Austin
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