Skip to comments.Robert Conquest, Seminal Historian of Soviet Misrule, Dies at 98
Posted on 08/05/2015 10:10:25 AM PDT by nickcarraway
Anglo-American historian and poet who chronicled Stalins excesses dies in Palo Alto, Calif.
Robert Conquest, an Anglo-American historian whose works on the terror and privation under Joseph Stalin made him the pre-eminent Western chronicler of the horrors of Soviet rule, died Monday in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 98 years old.
Mr. Conquests master work, The Great Terror, was the first detailed account of the Stalinist purges from 1937 to 1939. He estimated that under Stalin, 20 million people perished from famines, Soviet labor camps and executionsa toll that eclipsed that of the Holocaust. Writing at the height of the Cold War in 1968, when sources about the Soviet Union were scarce, Mr. Conquest was vilified by leftists who said he exaggerated the number of victims. When the Cold War ended and archives in Moscow were thrown open, his estimates proved high but more accurate than those of his critics.
Mr. Conquest also was a much-decorated writer of light verse and a figure in the Movement poetry of 1950s England. He continued to publish into his 90s, applying an unyielding zest to poetry and prose alike.
Born in Malvern, Worcestershire, to a British mother and an American father, he served in World War II and then in Britains diplomatic corps before a series of stints at think tanks and universities, largely in the U.S. In recent decades he was affiliated with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, moving to emeritus status in 2007.
While a spirited combatant in academic debate, Mr. Conquest wrote for a wider audience. The Great Terror reached millions of readers and won him a following among leaders including Ronald Reagan. Margaret Thatcher consulted Mr. Conquest on how to deal with the Soviet Union and her former advisers said she trusted him more than any Soviet expert.
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It is my understanding that his estimates were not high at all, but extremely accurate and maybe even a bit low. But, I haven't read about it in years.
Rest in peace, Mr. Conquest.
Nhe must’ve been one of the very few journalists who tried to tell the truth about Stalin, most of them are simply ball washer for him.
Liberal journalists disgust me.
It was through Robert Conquest’s work that I learned of the Holodomor, a genocide committed by Stalin against the Ukrainian people in the 1930s on scale comparable to the Holocaust. Unfortunately, this holocaust and genocide seems to be largely ignored in the history books.
There was a great Marxist named Lenin Who did two or three million men in. Thats a lot to have done in, But where he did one in That grand Marxist Stalin did ten in.
That beats Shakespeare's Seven Ages all hollow. The guy was a limerick genius.
You watch movies like “The Guns of Navarone” and “Sahara” and you realize our government was in bed with Stalin for years; both portray characters who fought for what is now known as the communists against the military uprising that sought to prevent the slaughter of the middle & upper classes and clergy in Spain in 1936. Both are portrayed as “good guys”, fighting alongside Americans/Brits.
Anything I want to know about the real history of Europe in the 1930s and 1940s I get from people who lived there - they know who were the real devils.
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