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September 30, 2020 | History

Robert Conquest

15 July 1917 - 5 August 2015

Robert Conquest was born in Malvern, Worcestershire, the son of an American businessman and a Norwegian mother. He was educated at Winchester College, the University of Grenoble, Oxford University, where he was an exhibitioner in modern history and took his bachelor's and master's degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and his doctorate in Soviet history. In 1937, after a year studying at the University of Grenoble and traveling in Bulgaria, he returned to Oxford and joined the Communist Party. When When World War II began, he became an intelligence officer in the Light Infantry. In 1940, he married Joan Watkins, with whom he had two sons. In 1944, while posted to Bulgaria as a liaison officer to the Bulgarian forces fighting under Soviet command, he met Tatiana Mihailova, who later became his second wife. After the war, he became the press officer at the British embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he witnessed the gradual rise of Soviet communism in the country, and he became disillusioned with communism. He returned to London, helping Tatiana escape at the same time, divorced his first wife and married Tatiana.

He joined a branch of the Foreign Office, then left in 1956 to become a freelance writer and historian. His first books, Power and Politics in the USSR and Soviet Deportation of Nationalities, were published in 1960. In addition to historical works, he also published science fiction. In 1962, he was divorced from his second wife and in 1964 he married again, but this marriage was dissolved in 1978 and in 1979 he married his fourth wife. In 1981, he moved to California where he is currently a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Conquest is now senior research fellow and scholar-curator of the Russian and Commonwealth of Independent States Collection at the Hoover Institution. He is also an adjunct fellow of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and a former research associate of Harvard University's Ukrainian Research Institute. He is a member of the board of the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies. He is a fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and a member of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies and the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.

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September 30, 2020 Edited by Clean Up Bot add ISNI
February 17, 2018 Edited by Nathan Bredeman Added death date
March 31, 2017 Edited by Clean Up Bot add VIAF and wikidata ID
April 12, 2010 Edited by Open Library Bot Added photos to author pages.
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user initial import