Robert Conquest

British historian and poet

George Robert Acworth Conquest (15 July 1917 – 3 August 2015) was a British-American historian and poet known for his works on Soviet history, including The Great Terror: Stalin's Purges of the 1930s first published in 1968.

Robert Conquest, 1987

Quotes edit

  • Truth can thus only percolate in the form of hearsay.
    • The Great Terror, p. 754
  • One good rule is that the language in Soviet secret documents ordering that action be taken is usually valid, while other information may be mere Party-line myth—as with the 1933 secret instructions to blockade the Ukraine and the Kuban to prevent famine victims escaping northward. The operational order was intended to be obeyed, and it was. The explanation given was false: that the peasants were acting on instructions of Socialist Revolutionaries and the Polish intelligence service.

Quotes about Conquest edit

  • Several readers have asked me for Robert Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics.
    As best I can remember, they are:
    1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
    2. Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing.
    3. The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.

    Of the Second Law, Conquest gave the Church of England and Amnesty International as examples. Of the Third, he noted that a bureaucracy sometimes actually IS controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies – e.g.the postwar British Secret Service.

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about: