Russia past and present, from a historian in Cambridge

The Russia Anxiety — why Stalinism was so terrible

In my new book,¬†The Russia Anxiety, I have a lot to say about Stalinism. My arguments steer down the middle of today’s historiography on the period, though a couple of … Continue reading

August 8, 2019

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

Gulag outpost, welfare city

Terror and welfare collided in the Soviet Union, and you can read it in the landscape. Before 1953, and especially before 1941, welfare and terror¬†coexisted, shaping each other. Later, after … Continue reading

November 28, 2014 · Leave a comment