BEYOND THE KREMLIN

Russian history and culture, from a historian in Cambridge

The Russia Anxiety: UK paperback out now

The UK paperback of The Russia Anxiety, published by Penguin, comes out this week. ‘A brilliant dissection of western prejudices about the Russians… This exciting and provocative book blows apart … Continue reading

July 27, 2020

Exiting the EU on Siegfried Sassoon’s time machine

Until today, Britain has been a member of the European Union for almost 47 years. Only people in their mid-fifties can have accurate memories of British life before accession to … Continue reading

January 31, 2020

Waiting for dawn

Tibor Szamuely sounded like a pessimist, and with good reason. Years after his release from the Gulag, he wrote a compelling book, The Russian Tradition, whose central argument is that … Continue reading

October 21, 2018 · Leave a comment

James Bond’s Russia question

James Bond is faced with a unique Russia question in Ian Fleming’s fifth 007 novel, From Russia With Love, published in 1957. Does Tatyana Romanova really want to defect from … Continue reading

August 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

Roy Jenkins in Moscow: a Brexit story

Seeking solace from Brexit, one could turn to the life of Roy Jenkins (1920-2003). As Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jenkins was among the most distinguished Labour politicians … Continue reading

August 14, 2016 · Leave a comment

Brexit: the view from the Soviet Union

On March 17 1991, the people of the Soviet Union voted in a referendum to resolve the greatest question of the time: should the USSR remain a single country, composed … Continue reading

July 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

The Nazi-Soviet pact: a moral problem

‘Historians often dislike what happened or wish that it had happened differently,’ wrote AJP Taylor, the great British historian-provocateur of the last century. He concluded: ‘There is nothing they can … Continue reading

January 19, 2016 · Leave a comment

The sleepwalkers

Would you trust a historian to get it right about Ukraine? After all, historians often get lost on the path of current events and fail to make predictions. They disagree confusingly with … Continue reading

February 25, 2015 · Leave a comment