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Confino, Michael

CONFINO, MICHAEL

CONFINO, MICHAEL (1926– ), Israeli historian. Confino's research work encompasses social, economic, and intellectual history, with emphasis on comparative history, agrarian problems, collective psychology of social groups, the structure of societies under the Old Regime, the revolutionary movements, and the evolution of the Jewish community in Bulgaria. He was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and immigrated to Israel in 1948. From 1951 until 1953 he was aliyah emissary in North Africa and in 1960 in the U.S.S.R. He studied at the University of Sofia, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Sorbonne. In 1959 he joined the Faculty of Humanities of the Hebrew University and was the founder and the first chairman of the Department of Russian Studies from 1964 until 1969. In 1970 he joined Tel Aviv University and founded the Russian and East European Research Center and was its first director between 1970 and 1977. From 1980 until 1995 he held the Samuel Rubin Chair of Russian and East European History and Civilization. He was visiting professor at many universities in the United States, France, and Italy. During his academic years, Confino was president of the Israel Association for Slavic Studies, a member of the executive committee of the International Association for Slavic and East European Studies, vice chairman of the executive board and member of the scientific committee of the Yitzhak Rabin Center for Israel studies, president of the Scientific Council, and member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He was also involved in the Documents of Soviet History series (1995–2004). Confino wrote numerous books and scholarly articles, including Domaines et Seineurs en Russie à la Fin du xviiie Siècle (1963), Daughter of a Revolutionary: Natalie Herzen and the Bakunin-Nechaev Circle (1974), Il Catechismo del Rivoluzionario (1986), From Saint-Petersburg to Leningrad: Essays in Russian History (in Hebrew, 1993), and The Power of Words and the Frailty of Reason: Propaganda, Incitement and Freedom of Speech (Heb., 2002). In 1993 he was awarded the Israel Prize in history and in 2003 he was awarded the emet Prize for art, science, and culture.

[Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]

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