A Spy in the Archives

Sheila Fitzpatrick
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A Spy in the Archives

Published

1 September 2013

ISBN

9780522861198

Ebook File Size

1.9MB

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

A Spy in the Archives

Sheila Fitzpatrick
Sheila Fitzpatrick was outed as all but a spy in a Soviet newspaper in 1968
In 1968 historian Sheila Fitzpatrick was 'outed' by the Russian newspaper Sovetskaya Rossiya as all but a spy for Western intelligence. She was in Moscow at the time, working in Soviet archives for her doctoral thesis on AV Lunacharsky, the first Soviet Commissar of Enlightenment after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.
Despite KGB attention, and the impossibility of finding a suitable winter coat, Sheila felt more at ease in Moscow than in Britain—a feeling cemented by her friendships with Lunacharsky's daughter, Irina, and brother-in-law, Igor, a reform-minded old Bolshevik who became a surrogate father and a intellectual mentor. An affair with young Communist activist, Sasha, pulled her further into a world in which she already felt at home. For the Soviet authorities and archives, however, she would always be marked as a foreigner, and so potentially a spy.
Punctuated by letters to her mother in Melbourne and her diary entries of…
In 1968 historian Sheila Fitzpatrick was 'outed' by the Russian newspaper Sovetskaya Rossiya as all but a spy for Western intelligence. She was in Moscow at the time, working in Soviet archives for her doctoral thesis on AV Lunacharsky, the first Soviet Commissar of Enlightenment after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.
Despite KGB attention, and the impossibility of finding a suitable winter coat, Sheila felt more at ease in Moscow than in Britain—a feeling cemented by her friendships with Lunacharsky's daughter, Irina, and brother-in-law, Igor, a reform-minded old Bolshevik who became a surrogate father and a intellectual mentor. An affair with young Communist activist, Sasha, pulled her further into a world in which she already felt at home. For the Soviet authorities and archives, however, she would always be marked as a foreigner, and so potentially a spy.
Punctuated by letters to her mother in Melbourne and her diary entries of the time, and borne along by Fitzpatrick's wry, insightful narrative, A Spy in the Archives captures the life and times of Cold War Russia.

About the author

Sheila Fitzpatrick

Sheila Fitzpatrick is Professor of History at the University of Sydney and Distinguished Service Professor Emerita of the University of Chicago. Mischka's War is the third in her series of memoirs, including My Father's Daughter (2010) and A Spy in the Archives (2013). She has written many books on Soviet history, including On Stalin's Team: The Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics, which was joint winner of the 2016 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-Fiction.

About Sheila Fitzpatrick

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