Born in Belgrade on August 22, 1926, Ivan Avakumovic was a UBC-based political science and history professor from 1963 to 1992, having gained his Ph.D at Oxford. He co-authored the definitive 1977 history, The Doukhobors, with George Woodcock. The two men first collaborated in England on a 1950 biography of anarchist Peter Kropotkin, having formed a friendship as like-minded radicals within the English anarchist movement. Avakumovic also wrote a history of the Communist Party in Canada and a 1978 study of the CCF-NDP called Socialism in Canada. He died on July 16, 2013.

According to an obituary notice, he was a lover of French pasties and a passionate advocate of education and democracy. "Son of Jelena and Aleksander Avakumovic, Ivan grew up in a prominent diplomatic family. After fleeing Nazi terror in 1941 through the Middle East to South Africa, meeting his future wife Solange enroute, his family found refuge in England. Ivan attended attended Rugby, Cambridge (Kings), London and Oxford (Nuffield). With a doctorate from Oxford, we wed Solange in 1957 and began teaching at the University of Aberdeen in 1957 before immigrating to Canada in 1958 to teach at the University of Manitoba."

He was named one of UBC's ten most popular professors by Maclean's magazine in 2001 as a guest lecturer, having reached mandatory retirement age in 1991. He donated more than 130,000 items to UBC Library. Memorial services were held at St. Helen's Anglican Church on West 8th Avenue in Vancouver on December 6, 2013.


The Anarchist Prince: A Biographical Study of Peter Kropotkin (London: Boardman, 1950) with George Woodcock.
History of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University, 1964)
The Doukhobors. Toronto and New York: Oxford University, 1968; also Ottawa: Carleton University, 1977; with George Woodcock.
Mihailovic prema namackim documentima (1969)
The Communist Party of Canada: A History. (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1975)
Socialism in Canada: A Study of the CCF-NDP in Federal and Provincial Politics (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1978)
Detruire le PCF (1988) with Roger Bouderon

[BCBW 2013] "Politics" "Doukhobors"

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
The Doukhobors
Socialism in Canada: A Study of the CCF-NDP in Federal and Provincial Politics