Robert Conquest

Research Fellow

Robert Conquest passed away on August 3, 2015. He was a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

His awards and honors include the Jefferson Lectureship, the highest honor bestowed by the federal government for achievement in the humanities (1993), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2005), the Dan David Prize (2012), Poland's Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit (2009), Estonia's Cross of Terra Mariana (2008), and the Ukrainian Order of Yaroslav Mudryi (2005).

He was the author of twenty-one books on Soviet history, politics, and international affairs, including the classic The Great Terror—which has been translated into twenty languages—and the acclaimed Harvest of Sorrow (1986). His most recent works are Reflections on a Ravaged Century (1999) and The Dragons of Expectation (2005).

Conquest has been literary editor of the London Spectator, brought out eight volumes of poetry and one of literary criticism, edited the seminal New Lines anthologies (1955–63), and published a verse translation of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's epic Prussian Nights (1977). He has also published a science fiction novel, A World of Difference (1955), and is joint author, with Kingsley Amis, of another novel, The Egyptologists (1965). In 1997 he received the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Michael Braude Award for Light Verse.

He was a fellow of the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Literature, and the British Interplanetary Society and a member of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. He has been a research fellow at the London School of Economics, a fellow of the Columbia University Russian Institute and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a distinguished visiting scholar at the Heritage Foundation, and a research associate at Harvard University's Ukrainian Research Institute.

Educated at Winchester College and the University of Grenoble, he was an exhibitioner in modern history at Magdalen College, Oxford, receiving his BA and MA in politics, philosophy, and economics and his DLitt in history.

Conquest served in the British infantry in World War II and thereafter in His Majesty's Diplomatic Service; he was awarded the Order of the British Empire. In 1996 he was named a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.

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Recent Commentary

Moscow police officer detains a demonstrator

Taking on the Apparatchiks

by Robert Conquestvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 6, 2012

Russians challenge the “deeply cynical caste” that has long ruled them. By Robert Conquest.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Patriot, Poet, and Prophet

by Robert Conquestvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a man whose flaws and virtues alike were heroic, was a true Russian. By Robert Conquest.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Analysis and Commentary

Solzhenitsyn Was a Russian Patriot

by Robert Conquestwith Alexander Solzhenitsynvia Wall Street Journal
Friday, August 8, 2008

Those of us who had long been concerned to expose and resist Stalinism, in the West as in the USSR, learned much from Alexander Solzhenitsyn...

Robert Conquest and a television crew prepare for a scene in the documentary Red Empire

The Great Terror at 40

by Robert Conquestvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

As his classic work is republished, Robert Conquest reflects on how it threw open the doors of the Gulag’s secrets.

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The Speech That Shook the World

by Robert Conquestvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, April 30, 2006

Fifty years ago, Nikita Khrushchev denounced Josef Stalin in a speech to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Robert Conquest on an event "so surprising and unexpected that some members of the audience actually fainted."

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Robert Conquest: An Enduring Testament

by Robert Conquestvia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 30, 2006

The president of the United States reflects on the historian who told the truth about the Soviet Union.

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When Goodness Won

by Robert Conquestvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, October 30, 2005

The recently published KGB file of Andrei Sakharov shows the extent to which he was oppressed—and the magnitude of his heroism. By Robert Conquest.

Slouching Toward Byzantium

by Robert Conquestvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, April 30, 2005

Robert Conquest on the United Nations, the European Union, and the decline of the West.

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by Robert Conquestvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Remembering Nikita Khrushchev, the crude, poorly educated peasant who laid the groundwork for the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. By Robert Conquest.

Where Ignorance Isn’t Bliss

by Robert Conquestvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 30, 2002

After the terrorist attacks, the level of American ignorance about the outside world became woefully obvious. Robert Conquest on the need for "more history and better history."