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In High Stalinist Times

Neal Ascherson: High Stalinist Times

20 December 2012
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1945-56 
by Anne Applebaum.
Allen Lane, 512 pp., £25, October 2012, 978 0 7139 9868 9
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... AnneApplebaum’s book begins with one group of women in the Polish city of Lodz and ends with another. The 45 years between the end of the Second World War and the emergence of a free, non-communist Poland ...

Probably, Perhaps

Dan Jacobson: Wilhelm von Habsburg

14 August 2008
The Red Prince: The Fall of a Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Europe 
by Timothy Snyder.
Bodley Head, 344 pp., £20, June 2008, 978 0 224 08152 8
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... cum-history, holds a chair at Yale and has written accounts of the rise and collapse of kingdoms and popular movements in Eastern and Central Europe. Garlanded with encomia from Timothy Garton Ash, AnneApplebaum and Niall Ferguson, the book includes a formidable assemblage of supporting documentation. It contains eight pages of ‘biographical sketches’ of people mentioned in the text; a three ...

I was warmer in prison

Vadim Nikitin: ‘A Terrible Country’

11 October 2018
A Terrible Country 
by Keith Gessen.
Fitzcarraldo, 352 pp., £12.99, July 2018, 978 1 910695 76 0
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... the major scholarship of the past half century (some of it very good or even brilliant in terms of historiography) falls into three camps: the conservative right (Richard Pipes), neoliberal right (AnneApplebaum, Timothy Snyder) or the cravenly apolitical centre (Timothy Colton). They all treat Russia as a problem to be solved. What is the underlying reason, they ask, for Russia’s deviance from ...

People and Martians

Sheila Fitzpatrick

24 January 2019
The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties 
by Robert Conquest.
Bodley Head, 576 pp., £20, November 2018, 978 1 84792 568 8
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The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivisation and the Terror-Famine 
by Robert Conquest.
Bodley Head, 412 pp., £20, November 2018, 978 1 84792 567 1
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... and the Ukrainian National Association, it tells a story of Soviet famine that is specifically focused on famine in the Ukraine (not the only way of telling that story, though readers of Conquest and AnneApplebaum could be forgiven for not knowing this) and the suffering of the Ukrainian people that resulted. Famine in southern Russia and Kazakhstan is not ignored – Central Asia gets its own short ...


Christopher Hitchens

12 January 1995
... supporting, would have had the effect of rendering the Gott stuff public in the first years of the Thatcher era. I would have preferred that, certainly. So let me join Alasdair Palmer and AnneApplebaum in their opinion that ‘this is exactly the kind of issue which the new Parliamentary security oversight committee, created by the Security Services Act, must examine.’ In my review of Seumas ...

Only in the Balkans

Misha Glenny: The Balkans Imagined

29 April 1999
Inventing Ruritania: The Imperialism of the Imagination 
by Vesna Goldsworthy.
Yale, 254 pp., £19.95, May 1998, 0 300 07312 7
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Imagining the Balkans 
by Maria Todorova.
Oxford, 270 pp., £35, June 1997, 9780195087505
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... peasant who, having stumbled on political power, is unsure how to wield it. Reporting on Michael Portillo’s visit as defence minister to Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia in 1996, AnneApplebaum (coincidentally, for the Evening Standard) has a good old chuckle: Up and down the red carpets he walks, Her Majesty’s aircraft just behind him, the Macedonian defence minister just beside him ...

Into the Big Tent

Benjamin Kunkel: Fredric Jameson

22 April 2010
Valences of the Dialectic 
by Fredric Jameson.
Verso, 625 pp., £29.99, October 2009, 978 1 85984 877 7
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... nomadism etc. This left seems to have faded from the American scene in recent years, but orthodox anti-Marxism looks unbudging. ‘Outside of a few university comparative literature departments,’ AnneApplebaum wrote recently in the New York Review of Books, ‘Soviet-style Marxism itself is not a living political idea anywhere in the West.’ (It’s in ‘Soviet-style’ that the real malice ...

The Europe to Come

Perry Anderson

25 January 1996
The Rotten Heart of Europe 
by Bernard Connolly.
Faber, 427 pp., £17.50, September 1995, 0 571 17520 1
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Orchestrating Europe: The Informal Politics of European Union 1973-93 
by Keith Middlemas.
Fontana, 821 pp., £27.50, November 1995, 0 00 255678 2
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... we are left with the conundrum of a space proclaiming itself centre and border at the same time. Perhaps sensing such difficulties, an American sympathiser, the Spectator’s former deputy editor AnneApplebaum, now of the Standard, has tacitly upgraded Poland to full Occidental status, entitling her – unfailingly disobliging – inspection of Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine in Between East and ...

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