The Maisky Diary: The Wartime Revelations of Stalin’s Man in London
Tue. Mar. 15 2016
4:00pm — 5:30pm
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
The terror and purges of Stalin’s Russia in the 1930s discouraged Soviet officials from putting pen to paper, let alone keeping personal diaries. A remarkable exception is the unique diary assiduously kept by Ivan Maisky, the Soviet ambassador to London between1932 and 1943. The rare diary shows how Maisky succeeded in walking a tightrope between maintaining his integrity as a professional diplomat and surviving the vagaries of Stalin’s regime. In this capacity he was able to witness and record the drift to war throughout the 1930s: appeasement, culminating in the Munich Agreement, the negotiations on the signature of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the battle for Britain, Churchill’s rise to power and the events leading to the German invasion of Russia, as well as the forging of the Grand Alliance and the major debate between the Allies concerning the opening of the second front and the post war arrangements.
Gabriel Gorodetsky is a Quondam Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and emeritus professor of history at Tel Aviv University. In 2010 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Russian State University for the Humanities. The founder and director of the Cummings Center for Russian Studies at Tel Aviv University, Prof Gorodetsky had been a visiting fellow of St. Antony’s College, Oxford, the Wilson Center, Washington DC, the Rockefeller Bellagio Research Center and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He has published widely on Soviet foreign policy in the interwar period and the Second World War. Among his leading publications are The Precarious Truce: Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1924-1927, Stafford Cripps’ Mission to Moscow, 1940-1942, Mif ledolkola published in Moscow in 1995, and Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia, published also in French, German, Russian and Hebrew.
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