Miriam Dobson

Miriam Dobson is a lecturer in history at Sheffield.

In​ the decade or so before the revolutions of 1917, the photographer Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky crisscrossed the Russian empire on its growing network of railways. He visited the medieval towns of Yaroslavl and Smolensk, went deep into Siberia and north to the Solovetsky islands, and travelled south to Bukhara and Samarkand, Central Asian cities colonised over the preceding century. He...

Beijing,​ 1920. A young member of the new Communist Party in China, Zhang Guotao, is discussing revolutionary politics with a Comintern representative dispatched from Moscow. ‘Filled with youthful enthusiasm’, the Russian visitor ‘very easily fell in with people that held the new attitudes … And he drew no distinction between Chinese and foreigners, between the...

What did Khrushchev say? ‘Moscow 1956’

Miriam Dobson, 2 November 2017

Dressed​ in a shapeless black skirt and blouse and shod in ageing boots she might have worn since her days in the revolutionary underground, the 82-year-old Old Bolshevik Elena Stasova clutches the arm of Mátyás Rákosi, leader of the Hungarian Communist Party. She leans in as if whispering the latest political gossip. The pair stand in a Kremlin hallway waiting for the...

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