Edward Cohn

Ed Cohn headshot
Grinnell College

Dr. Cohn specializes in the social and political history of the Soviet Union in the decades after World War II. His first book, The High Title of a Communist, analyzes the Soviet Communist Party’s system of internal discipline in the twenty years after World War II, focusing on investigations of corruption, war-time collaboration with the Nazis, drunkenness, and sexual misconduct among Communists. During his semester at the Obermann Center, he will be at work on a book about the KGB’s efforts to fight dissent and political unrest in the Baltic republics of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. His research will focus on the tactic known as the “prophylactic conversation,” in which the KGB sought to prevent low-level offenders from becoming hardened enemies of the regime by “inviting” them to supposedly informal “conversations” or “chats.”