Russia past and present, from a historian in Cambridge

Spend, spend, spend — Communist-style

Historians who possess souls want to see, touch, and hear the past. They share an instinct with most of their fellow-citizens to imagine what came before: how their families lived, … Continue reading

November 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

When did today dawn in Russia?

Not an easy question for a country with so many time zones, but it’s even worse if you’re a historian. For historians, ‘today’ means ‘contemporary history’, but today might stretch … Continue reading

October 31, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Cold War surveillance state — and AJP Taylor

Just how different was the post-Stalin Soviet Union from the Western democracies? Nowadays, historians ask the question in a routine way, focusing on the principles underlyng the consumer economy or … Continue reading

July 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

Hugh Trevor-Roper in the USSR

Hugh Trevor-Roper (1914-2003), whose centenary this is, was the ultimate grandee among British historians. Regius Professor at Oxford, Master of Peterhouse at Cambridge, friend of the clever or connected, scourge … Continue reading

June 18, 2014 · Leave a comment