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

The analogy misleader

You don’t have to watch US cable news for very long before somebody asks about history and Trump. Can you find a comparison? A precedent? Or is Donald Trump so … Continue reading

August 2, 2018 · Leave a comment

Post-Soviet Eurovision and the singer in the wheelchair

Held in Kiev in May, this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is an international incident waiting to happen. From selecting the Russian and Ukrainian entrants to calibrating the crowd’s response to … Continue reading

March 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Panama Papers: Soviet history lessons?

Are you any the wiser, or did you know it already? The massive leak of documents from the law firm Mossack Fonseca reveals — pause — that David Cameron inherited … Continue reading

April 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

Blair and Putin go to the pub, secure world peace

‘We have a joke in Russia — that when Russian men get together at work they talk about ladies,’ said Vladimir Putin after a session in the pub with Tony Blair … Continue reading

January 16, 2015 · Leave a comment

Vladimir Putin meets Neville Chamberlain?

For some people, Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler are never far away. ‘We run the risk of repeating the mistakes made in Munich in 1938,’ David Cameron apparently said (of Ukraine) … Continue reading

September 22, 2014 · Leave a comment

Victory Day: tanks on Red Square, Putin in Crimea

May 9, 2014: Victory Day, the annual celebration of the triumph against Nazi Germany. Powerful army formations and weapons of mass destruction parade across Red Square. President Putin receives the … Continue reading

May 9, 2014 · Leave a comment