The Great Britain – Russia Society
Autumn Session (September – December 2003)
Eight events – enlightening, exciting, exceptional!
Thursday 11th September 2003, in the University of London Union, Malet Street 6.30p.m. for 7p.m.(room 3D)
“STALIN: THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR”
SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE
Fifty years after his death Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (1879-1953) remains a political colossus of our world. But the scale of his crimes has made him, along with Hitler, the very personification of evil.
This is a talk on Stalin’s inner circle, a story of fear and betrayal, privilege and debauchery, of family life and murderous brutality brought blazingly to life, a sensitive but damning portrait of a twentieth century tyrant. The speaker will give us an intimate picture of daily life in Stalin’s entourage – a gripping, transfixing account breaking new ground, and winning plaudits from all the top academics.
Simon Sebag Montefiore born 1965. Read History at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Spent much of the 1990s travelling throughout the former Soviet Union, especially in the Caucasus, Ukraine and central Asia, and wrote widely on Russia, especially for the Sunday Times, the New York Times and the Spectator. Author of two novels and presenter of television documentaries, Simon’s highly acclaimed book “Prince of Princes: the life of Potemkin” was published in 2000 and short listed for the Samuel Johnson, Duff Cooper and Marsh biography prizes. A fast rising
Simon Sebag Montefiore is a consummate communicator.
A STUNNING START TO THE SEASON!
“Stalin – the Court of the Red Tsar” will be on sale at the meeting with a sizeable discount to members.
Tuesday 16 September at the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road. Nearest tube stations are Lambeth North
(Bakerloo line) or Elephant & Castle (Northern line or Bakerloo line)
60 years after the USSR’s decisive victory over the Nazis at Stalingrad
A COMMEMORATIVE RECEPTION IN THE MAIN CONFERENCE HALL
OF THE IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM (from 12.30 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.)
Also the official launch of Albert Axell’s new book
“Marshal Zhukov: the man who beat Hitler”.
The Guests of Honour are expected to be the three daughters of Marshal Zhukov
And Viscount Montgomery, son of Field Marshal Lord Montgomery of Alamein.
This reception is free of charge, but available by ticket only to members who have made a prior reservation (limited to two tickets per member) with the Great Britain – Russia Society. Your reservations to be received by no later than September 1st please.
Tuesday 30 September 2003 at The Cardinal Inn, 23 Francis Street SW1P 1DN at 6.30 for 7.00 p.m.
“RUSSIAN WRITERS ABROAD : A SINGULAR TRIBE?”
This talk will be in RUSSIAN, with Martin Dewhirst in the Chair.
Zinovy Zinik, a novelist and broadcaster, who has lived and worked in London since 1976, discusses problematic aspects of expatriate culture.
Zinovy Zinik was born in Moscow in 1945. He moved to London in 1976. He contributes regularly to the BBC Radio Service, to the Times Literary Supplement and to other periodicals. His seven novels were translated into a number of European languages, and the most famous of them “The Mushroom Picker” was made into a film for BBC Television in 1994.
Three of his novels in Russian were nominated for the Russian Booker Prize. His radio documentary on Berlin “After the Wall” (with Claudia Sinnig) was awarded the Bronze Medal at the New York International Radio Festival in 2001. Zinik’s recent collection of short stories “Mind the Doors” was published in New York in 2002 by Context Books.
“A THOUGHT PROVOKING AND ORIGINAL PRESENTATION”
Tuesday 21 October 2003 in the University of London Union, Malet Street at 5.45 p.m.
5.45 p.m. until 6 p.m. Complimentary Wine Reception (in Room 3D)
6.00 p.m. Our first Annual General Meeting.
We need a minimum of 10% of the membership, to achieve a quorum!
Please make a special effort to attend, and on time.
We must adopt a Constitution to qualify as a Charity, elect Officers etc.
7.00 p.m. “LIVING DANGEROUSLY WITH A NOTEBOOK”
TONY BISHOP CMG OBE
(H.M. Government’s chief Russian Interpreter during 4 decades)
After studying Russian during National Service (1956-58) when he was trained as a military Interpreter, Tony Bishop took a degree in Russian at Cambridge. He started interpreting for H.M. Government in 1961, and was the Principal Conference Interpreter of the Foreign Office until 1998 as well as being one of its leading in house Sovietologists. He interpreted during Russian contacts for all British Prime Ministers from Harold Macmillan to Tony Blair, and for all Foreign Secretaries (except just one) from Lord Home to Jack Straw. He is still interpreting!
He thus covered summits with Brezhnev, the Thatcher/ Gorbachev meetings, and about a dozen more meetings and many more phone calls with President Putin. He also interpreted for Her Majesty the Queen during the Royal Visit to the Russian Federation in 1994. His reports of these and many other encounters provided the FCO with some penetrating insights, and also with some of the more human and amusing accounts of the Russian leadership.
A RARE TREAT – DEFINITELY NOT TO BE MISSED!
Monday 10 November 2003 at The Cardinal Inn 23 Francis Street SW1P 1DN at 6.30 for 7.00 p.m.
RUSSIA, HER NEIGHBOURS AND OTHER GREAT POWERS.
This is the first in a series of Lectures on International Relations
“RUSSO –JAPANESE RELATIONS FROM 1697 TO 1945 AND BEYOND”
Ten interesting facts
• The first recorded contact between Russians and Japanese occurred in 1697.
• Catherine the Great considered Japanese goods “not worth a sou”
• US Commodore Perry’s “Black Ships” opened up Japan in 1853-4; fewer know that at the same time Russia’s Admiral Putiatin won a more favourable treaty from Japan than did Perry
• Russian writer Goncharov (of “Oblomov” fame) accompanied the Putiatin expedition; his account (“The Frigate Pallas”) remains a popular travel book in Russia.
• 19th century technology transfer from Russia to Japan included smallpox vaccination, tailoring, photography and shipbuilding.
• Nicholas II was nearly murdered by a Japanese policeman.
• Japan has dozens of Russian Orthodox Churches including a famous Tokyo landmark, the Church of St. Nicholas (Nikolaido)
• Intellectuals on both sides, including Tolstoy and Natsume Soseki, made a concerted effort to stop the 1904-5
Russo-Japanese War. Japanese victory ushered in the era of “Asia for the Asiatics”.
• World War Two; Japan and the USSR stopped fighting in 1939 and started in 1945; both sides technically are still at war.
• Japan played a major role in re-building the post war USSR.
Peter Gysin, a member of the GB-USSR Association since the 1980s, works for the Department of Trade and Industry where he deals with International Energy Policy.
After graduating in classics from Oxford in 1977 he spent two years living in Japan (teaching English) from 1978-80. His interest in Russo-Japanese relations derives from his experience of Japan and from having a Russian Mother (from Taganrog). He completed a part time degree in Russian at the University of Westminster with a dissertation on the theme of his talk (Russo-Japanese relations 1697-1945)
“A VIEW FROM A DIFFERENT & INTERESTING ANGLE”.
Saturday 22 November 2003 at the Buckingham Gate Entrance at 10.30 a.m. sharp!Entry at 10.45 a.m
IN THE QUEEN’S GALLERY AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE
A group visit (minimum 15 people maximum 35 people) to view
300 Faberge exhibits and hundreds of other Royal Items
Once inside members view individually. This is not a conducted tour. Discounted cost of tickets £6.50 for under 60s, £5 for over 60s. If interested, post well before September 20th a separate cheque payable to “The Great Britain- Russia Society” and dated October 1st 2003. Unsuccessful applicants will have their cheques returned. To date only 10 people have booked. We need more people
Wednesday 3 December 2003 University of London Union, Malet Street 6.30 for 7.00 p.m.(Room 3E)
“IVAN THE TERRIBLE RE-VISITED”
Professor Emerita Isabel de Madariaga FRHistS FBA
(with Russian mediaevalist Sergei Bogatryov in the Chair)
“The long reign of Ivan the Terrible (1533-84) constitutes one of the most puzzling and disputed pages of Russian History” (Professor Michael T. Florinsky in “Russia – a History and an Interpretation”).
Ivan the Terrible was the first ruler of Russia openly to espouse the doctrine of political absolutism, and his influence over subsequent Russian History has been profound.
In her forthcoming book on Ivan the Terrible, 450 years after England first established commercial relations with Russia, Professor Isabel de Madariaga focuses her formidable intellect on presenting the man as a human being as well as a ruler, and avails herself of recent publications in Russia and in the USA to assess the aims and extent of his achievements, and aspects of his reign that need to be actively researched to establish a truer picture. Professor Isabel de Madariaga is the doyenne of all SSEES graduates, having studied there before World War 2 when the School was being run by its founders Professors Robert William Seton-Watson and Sir Bernard Pares. Worked for the BBC Monitoring Service (1940-43), Ministry of Information (1943-47), Economic Information Unit of the Treasury (47-48), Editorial Assistant of the Slavonic & East European Review (1951-64). Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Sussex (1966-68), and at the University of Lancaster(1968-71). Joined the academic staff at SSEES in 1971 becoming Reader and then Professor of Russian
Studies, University of London. She retired in 1985.
Author of divers books her magnum opus, the product of over 9 years of research, is “Russia in the Age of Catherine the Great”, the definitive work on this era, which has been translated into many languages. Sergei Bogatryov, a distinguished mediaevalist who has written on Ivan the Terrible, joined the academic staff of the School of Slavonic & East European Studies in September 2003.
REVISIONIST HISTORY AT ITS BEST – RIVETING!
Monday 15 December Swedenborg Hall,20/21 Bloomsbury Way WC1A 2TH 6.15p.m. for 6.30 p.m.
Nearest tube is Holborn (on the central & piccadilly lines). Entrance to the Hall itself is in Barter Street
MAJOR LECTURE FOLLOWED BY THE CHRISTMAS PARTY
“SMALL GROUP SOLIDARITY – A KEY TO UNDERSTANDING
Professor GEOFFREY HOSKING FBA FRHistS
Russia is viewed usually in a negative way. This is an attempt to show why Russia’s Society has proved to be so durable, and especially in the twentieth century, despite all the upheavals.
In 1984 Geoffrey Alan Hosking succeeded Hugh Seton-Watson as Senior Professor of Russian History at SSEES, University of London. Obtained his MA and PhD at Cambridge. Formerly Lecturer and Reader at Essex University (1966-84). Delivered the BBC Reith Lectures in 1988. On the Executive Committee of the Britain-Russia Centre (1994-98). Deputy Director of SSEES (1996-8). Appointed Leverhulme Personal Research Professor in 1999.
Exceptionally gifted, a most elegant writer with a vast hinterland of Russian culture, Geoffrey Hosking is one of the English – speaking world’s leading historians of Russia, and is the author or editor of nine major works, several of which have won international prizes. He has the unique distinction of being the only British Russian Historian to be made an Honorary Doctor of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR – ABSOLUTELY UNMISSABLE!
and (from approximately 8 p.m. until 9.50 p.m.)
THE FAMOUS “B-RC STYLE” CHRISTMAS PARTY RETURNS
*** STARRING ***
NIKOLAI (KOLYA) RYSKOV
VIRTUOSO WIZARD ON THE ACCORDION (IN NATIONAL COSTUME)
AND GRADUATE OF THE RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF MUSIC
Gypsy, folk, classical & modern music – you name it, he plays it – and you can sing!
Song sheets provided. A cornucopia of gastronomic delights professionally catered by “Russian Connections”. Platters of Russian delicacies with vodka, wine & soft drinks.
MAGICAL MUSIC, EXUBERANT, ENCHANTING ATMOSPHERE!
Tickets are not issued for meetings, but names will be put on the relevant attendance lists on a first come first served basis. Members are encouraged to book places for their guests. Members who have booked for talks and find that they are unable to attend are asked to phone or email the Membership Secretary by no later than 5 p.m. on the previous afternoon (phone Ute Chatterjee on 07866 849599 or email her at: [removed]so that those on the waiting list can be offered places. No refunds for cancelled bookings for the Hosking Lecture and Christmas Party accepted after December 8th. If you book too late to get a place you will be notified. If you require
confirmation of your booking send a stamped addressed envelope.
Your suggestions for Society events and possible new activities are always welcome. You can contact the Chairman Daniel Salbstein c/o J. Salbstein, Brougham Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 2NX, 01903 210611 (phone & fax).
To avoid possible disappointment we recommend that you reserve your places by return of post.
Tickets are £5. Whenever you bring one or more guests drop your price to £4, but guests pay £6 each.
Members paying for a minimum of 5 talks pay only £4 per meeting (a discount of 20%) but all pay £15 for the Professor Hosking Lecture and Christmas Party on December 15th.