Subjects

Anne Applebaum

Expert on International Affairs and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author

Political and Economic Transformation Challenges — Opportunities and Risks

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Biography

Pulitzer Prize winning historian, journalist and commentator on geo-politics, Anne Applebaum examines the challenges and opportunities of global political and economic change through the lenses of world history and the contemporary political landscape.

Informed by her expertise in Europe and her years of international reporting, Applebaum shares perspectives on, and the far-reaching implications of, today's volatile world events. And as technology allows a new scale of media manipulation to authoritarian governments and changes the tenor of political discourse, she scrutinizes the misinformation, propaganda, and criminal exploitation that influence global affairs, as well.

From Syrian refugees to Putin's disinformation narratives, from the EU and the Greek financial crisis to responding to terrorism, from solutions to transition-government corruption to Trump's game-changing campaign language, Applebaum provides both background and up-to-the-minute insights that are vital to understanding the risks and opportunities of today's world political and economic climate.

Anne’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag: A History is about the Soviet concentration camps. Her forthcoming Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine (October 2017) proves what many suspected: Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry. Her other books include Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1946, which won a Cundill Prize for Historical Literature, and Between East and West: Across the Borderlands of Europe.

Appointed Visiting Professor of Practice at the London School of Economics Institute of Global Affairs in 2017, Anne is in charge of a program on “fake news” and 21st century propaganda. The Transformation Lab focus on political and economic transformation challenges in individual countries.

Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute from 2011-2015, an international think tank, Applebaum co-founded the institute's Democracy Lab, an online partnership between the institute and Foreign Policy magazine. An adjunct fellow of the Center for European Policy Analysis, she is former Phillipe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics.

Applebaum writes a biweekly foreign affairs column for The Washington Post, and is a regular contributor to publications such as Slate magazine, The New Republic, The Spectator, and The New York Review of Books. She was formerly a member of The Washington Post’s editorial board; foreign and deputy editor of the Spectator magazine; and political editor of the Evening Standard. From 1988 – 1991 she covered the collapse of communism as Warsaw correspondent for The Economist.

Anne attended Yale University and was a Marshall Scholar at the London School of Economics and St. Antony’s College, Oxford. She divides her time between London and Warsaw, Poland.

Books

Red Famine

Stalin's War on Ukraine

Anne Applebaum

In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization — in effect a second Russian revolution — which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least 5 million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR. But instead of sending relief the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum argues that more than 3 million of those dead were Ukrainians who perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill them.

Applebaum proves what has long been suspected: after a series of rebellions unsettled the province, Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry. The state sealed the republic's borders and seized all available food. Starvation set in rapidly, and people ate anything: grass, tree bark, dogs, corpses. In some cases, they killed one another for food. Devastating and definitive, Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evil.

Doubleday (October 10, 2017)

Iron Curtain

The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956

Anne Applebaum

In the long-awaited follow-up to her Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag, acclaimed journalist Anne Applebaum delivers a groundbreaking history of how Communism took over Eastern Europe after World War II and transformed in frightening fashion the individuals who came under its sway.

At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union to its surprise and delight found itself in control of a huge swath of territory in Eastern Europe. Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to Communism, a completely new political and moral system. In Iron Curtain, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum describes how the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created and what daily life was like once they were complete. She draws on newly opened East European archives, interviews, and personal accounts translated for the first time to portray in devastating detail the dilemmas faced by millions of individuals trying to adjust to a way of life that challenged their every belief and took away everything they had accumulated. Today the Soviet Bloc is a lost civilization, one whose cruelty, paranoia, bizarre morality, and strange aesthetics Applebaum captures in the electrifying pages of Iron Curtain.

Anchor; Reprint edition (August 13, 2013)
Doubleday; First Edition edition (October 30, 2012)

Between East and West

Across the Borderlands of Europe

Anne Applebaum

A vivid and human glimpse into Europe's borderlands as they emerged from Soviet rule — back in print after nearly 20 years.

As Europe's borderlands emerged from Soviet rule, Anne Applebaum travelled from the Baltic to the Black Sea, through Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and the Carpathian mountains. Rich in vivid characters and stories of tragedy and survival, Between East and West illuminates the soul of a place, and the secret history of its people.

'In this superb book, in which one senses the spirit of Franz Kafka and Bruno Schulz, the dramatic world of the Eastern borderlands comes to life'
— Ryszard Kapuscinski

'A beautifully written and thought-provoking account of a journey along Europe's forgotten edge'
— Timothy Garton Ash

'A vivid and penetrating assessment of the lands between the Baltic and the Black Sea in all their drama and desolation . . . a wise and useful book'
— Robert Conquest

'Combines the excitement of a well-written and adventurous travelogue with sophisticated reportage'
— Norman Davies

Penguin UK (March 31, 2015)
Pantheon; 1st edition (October 11, 1994)

Gulag Voices

An Anthology (Annals of Communism Series)

Anne Applebaum (Editor), Jane Ann Miller (Translator)

Anne Applebaum wields her considerable knowledge of a dark chapter in human history and presents a collection of the writings of survivors of the Gulag, the Soviet concentration camps. Although the opening of the Soviet archives to scholars has made it possible to write the history of this notorious concentration camp system, documents tell only one side of the story. Gulag Voices now fills in the other half.

The backgrounds of the writers reflect the extraordinary diversity of the Gulag itself. Here are the personal stories of such figures as Dmitri Likhachev, a renowned literary scholar; Anatoly Marchenko, the son of illiterate laborers; and Alexander Dolgun, an American citizen. These remembrances — many of them appearing in English for the first time, each chosen for both literary and historical value — collectively spotlight the strange moral universe of the camps, as well as the relationships that prisoners had with one another, with their guards, and with professional criminals who lived beside them.

A vital addition to the literature of this era,annotated for a generation that no longer remembers the Soviet Union, Gulag Voices will inform, interest, and inspire, offering a source for reflection on human nature itself.

Yale University Press; First edition (January 25, 2011)

Gulag

A History

Anne Applebaum

The Gulag — the vast array of Soviet concentration camps — was a system of repression and punishment whose rationalized evil and institutionalized inhumanity were rivaled only by the Holocaust.

The Gulag entered the world’s historical consciousness in 1972, with the publication of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s epic oral history of the Soviet camps, The Gulag Archipelago. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, dozens of memoirs and new studies covering aspects of that system have been published in Russia and the West. Using these new resources as well as her own original historical research, Anne Applebaum has now undertaken, for the first time, a fully documented history of the Soviet camp system, from its origins in the Russian Revolution to its collapse in the era of glasnost. It is an epic feat of investigation and moral reckoning that places the Gulag where it belongs: at the center of our understanding of the troubled history of the twentieth century.

Anne Applebaum first lays out the chronological history of the camps and the logic behind their creation, enlargement, and maintenance. The Gulag was first put in place in 1918 after the Russian Revolution. In 1929, Stalin personally decided to expand the camp system, both to use forced labor to accelerate Soviet industrialization and to exploit the natural resources of the country’s barely habitable far northern regions. By the end of the 1930s, labor camps could be found in all twelve of the Soviet Union’s time zones. The system continued to expand throughout the war years, reaching its height only in the early 1950s. From 1929 until the death of Stalin in 1953, some 18 million people passed through this massive system. Of these 18 million, it is estimated that 4.5 million never returned.

But the Gulag was not just an economic institution. It also became, over time, a country within a country, almost a separate civilization, with its own laws, customs, literature, folklore, slang, and morality. Topic by topic, Anne Applebaum also examines how life was lived within this shadow country: how prisoners worked, how they ate, where they lived, how they died, how they survived. She examines their guards and their jailers, the horrors of transportation in empty cattle cars, the strange nature of Soviet arrests and trials, the impact of World War II, the relations between different national and religious groups, and the escapes, as well as the extraordinary rebellions that took place in the 1950s. She concludes by examining the disturbing question why the Gulag has remained relatively obscure, in the historical memory of both the former Soviet Union and the West.

Gulag: A History will immediately be recognized as a landmark work of historical scholarship and an indelible contribution to the complex, ongoing, necessary quest for truth.

Doubleday; 1 edition (April 29, 2003)

Topics

Anne tailors each presentation to the needs of her audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest her range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Political Risk

European Politics (EU/Nato)

US Politics

Russia and Ukraine

Poland and Central Europe

Videos

Trump: An American Tragedy? | Intelligence Squared

Regaining Control in an Unsettled Europe | World Affairs Council of Jacksonville

The West vs. Russia | The Munk Debates

Looting Ukraine: The East, the West and the Corruption of a Country | Legatum Institute

Between East and West | Atlantic Council

Does Eastern Europe Still Exist? | London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Articles

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— Ricochet Podcast
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— Slate
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— The Spectator
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— Financial Times
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— The Slovak Spectator
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— The New York Review of Books
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— Slate
— Evening Standard
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— The Washington Post
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