Professor Richard B. Spence, PhD

Professor Richard B. Spence
  • University of Idaho
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
A key theme is that human history, behavior and reality are governed not by what we know but by what we believe.

Dr. Richard B. “Rick” Spence is Professor of History at the University of Idaho, where he has taught since 1986. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1981), and taught there as a visiting assistant professor from 1981 to 1985. His primary areas of study are modern Russian, modern European, Middle Eastern, and military history.

Professor Spence’s research interests include espionage; occultism; anti-Semitism; and, of course, secret societies. His major published works include Boris Savinkov: Renegade on the Left (1991), Trust No One: The Secret World of Sidney Reilly (2002), Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult (2008), and Wall Street and the Russian Revolution, 1905-1925 (2017). He is the author of numerous articles in Revolutionary Russia, Intelligence and National Security, Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism, American Communist History, The Historian, and other journals.

He has also contributed to New Dawn and other popular publications. His current projects include a book, American Spies in Revolutionary Russia, and articles on the mysterious literary figure, Arthur Cravan; the smuggling of Russian Imperial Jewels; and the deadly Eddystone munitions plant explosion of 1917. He has been a commentator/consultant for HISTORY®, the International Spy Museum, Radio Liberty, and has consulted for and been interviewed in documentaries produced by the Russian Cultural Foundation, Mamontov Productions, and other Russian media outlets. He is also a popular guest on radio shows and podcasts, having been interviewed more than 30 times since 2015 on such programs as The Other Side of Might, Midnight in the Desert, Leak Project, Esoteric Hollywood, and Truth Be Told.

Professor Spence offers a number of special courses at the University of Idaho, including Conspiracies and Secret Societies in History, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, History of Terrorism, and The Occult in History. He has been recognized for his contributions to the University’s Honors, International Studies and Naval ROTC Programs, and has received teaching excellence awards from the university, alumni, and student body.

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6 Courses and Sets

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6 Courses and Sets

  1. The Real History of Secret Societies

    The Real History of Secret Societies

    Richard B. Spence
    4 out of 5
    73% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (67)
    Starting at $234.95 Starting at $234.95 $269.95 $234.95$269.95
    Secret societies have attracted some of history’s most brilliant, and some of its most evil, minds. Often demonized by their enemies, many secret societies have become the stuff of myths and conspiracy theories. Award-winning Professor Richard B. “Rick” Spence brings the expertise of HISTORY® as he guides you through the fascinating, often mystifying—sometimes disturbing—occasionally inspiring world of...
  2. (SET) The Real History of Secret Societies & The Black Death Set

    (SET) The Real History of Secret Societies & The Black Death

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $469.90 Starting at $469.90 $539.90 $469.90$539.90
    Take a tour of strange, dark, and undeniably fascinating corners of world history in the company of two award-winning professors. In The Real History of Secret Societies, explore the often mystifying (and sometimes disturbing) world of brotherhoods, sisterhoods, orders, cults, and cabals that have influenced human culture from ancient times to the present. And in The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating...
  3. (SET) The Real History of Secret Societies & The Agency Set

    (SET) The Real History of Secret Societies & The Agency

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $469.90 Starting at $469.90 $539.90 $469.90$539.90
    Slip into the shadows of some of history’s most fascinating—and secretive—societies and organizations in this illuminating two-course set. In The Real History of Secret Societies, explore the often mystifying (and sometimes disturbing) world of brotherhoods, sisterhoods, orders, cults, and cabals that have influenced human culture from ancient times to the present. And in The Agency: A History of the CIA, an...
  4. (SET) The Real History of Secret Societies & America’s Founding Fathers Set

    (SET) The Real History of Secret Societies & America’s Founding Fathers

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $569.90 Starting at $569.90 $654.90 $569.90$654.90
    Explore the many ways groups of individuals—some secretive, some public—can radically reshape history. In the first part of this two-course set, explore the often mystifying (and sometimes disturbing) world of brotherhoods, sisterhoods, orders, cults, and cabals that have influenced human culture from ancient times to the present with The Real History of Secret Societies. And in the second part, America’s...
  5. (SET) The Real History of Secret Societies & Forensic History Set

    (SET) The Real History of Secret Societies & Forensic History

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $469.90 Starting at $469.90 $539.90 $469.90$539.90
    Delve into some of history’s most secretive, provocative, and scandalous stories with this set that pairs The Real History of Secret Societies with Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals. In the first course, explore the often mystifying (and sometimes disturbing) world of brotherhoods, sisterhoods, orders, cults, and cabals that have influenced human culture from ancient times to the present. In the...
  6. (SET) The Real History of Secret Societies & The Great Trials of World History and the Lessons They Teach Us Set

    (SET) The Real History of Secret Societies & The Great Trials of World History and the Lessons They Teach Us

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $469.90 Starting at $469.90 $539.90 $469.90$539.90
    What can we learn from the secret societies and great trials of world history? Find out in this eye-opening two-course set that brings together The Real History of Secret Societies and The Great Trials of World History and the Lessons They Teach Us. First, explore the often mystifying (and sometimes disturbing) world of brotherhoods, sisterhoods, orders, cults, and cabals that have influenced human culture from...