Robert Conquest Books In Order


  1. A World of Difference (1964)
  2. The Egyptologists (1965)
  3. Demon’s Don’t (1999)


Anthologies edited

  1. Spectrum (1962)
  2. Spectrum 2 (1962)
  3. Spectrum 3 (1963)
  4. Spectrum 4 (1965)

Non fiction

  1. The Great Terror (1968)
  2. Russia After Khrushchev (1968)
  3. The Nation Killers (1969)
  4. Lenin (1970)
  5. Inside Stalin’s Secret Police (1985)
  6. Harvest of Sorrow (1986)
  7. Stalin and the Kirov Murder (1988)
  8. Tyrants and Typewriters (1989)
  9. Stalin, Breaker of Nations (1991)
  10. Reflections on a Ravaged Century (1999)
  11. The Dragons of Expectation (2004)

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Robert Conquest Books Overview

The Great Terror

The definitive work on Stalin’s purges, Robert Conquest’s The Great Terror was universally acclaimed when it first appeared in 1968. Edmund Wilson hailed it as ‘the only scrupulous, non partisan, and adequate book on the subject.’ George F. Kennan, writing in The New York Times Book Review, noted that ‘one comes away filled with a sense of the relevance and immediacy of old questions.’ And Harrison Salisbury called it ‘brilliant…
not only an odyssey of madness, tragedy, and sadism, but a work of scholarship and literary craftsmanship.’ And in recent years it has received equally high praise in the Soviet Union, where it is now considered the authority on the period, and has been serialized in Neva, one of their leading periodicals. Of course, when Conquest wrote the original volume two decades ago, he relied heavily on unofficial sources. Now, with the advent of glasnost, an avalanche of new material is available, and Conquest has mined this enormous cache to write a substantially new edition of his classic work. It is remarkable how many of Conquest’s most disturbing conclusions have born up under the light of fresh evidence. But Conquest has added enormously to the detail, including hitherto secret information on the three great ‘Moscow Trials,’ on the fate of the executed generals, on the methods of obtaining confessions, on the purge of writers and other members of the intelligentsia, on life in the labor camps, and many other key matters. Both a leading Sovietologist and a highly respected poet, Conquest here blends profound research with evocative prose, providing not only an authoritative account of Stalin’s purges, but also a compelling and eloquent chronicle of one of this century’s most tragic events. A timely revision of a book long out of print, this updated version of Conquest’s classic work will interest both readers of the earlier volume and an entirely new generation of readers for whom it has not been readily available.

Harvest of Sorrow

The Harvest of Sorrow is the first full history of one of the most horrendous human and social tragedies of our century. As Robert Conquest shows in heart rending detail, Stalin’s plan to collectivize Soviet agriculture amounted to an unparalleled assault on the Soviet peasantry and Unkrainian nation, resulting in a death toll higher than that suffered in World War I by all the belligerent nations combined. Millions of men, women, and children died in Arctic exile, while millions more perished in the terror famine of 1932 33. Then it was all over, the survivors had been forced into the new collective farms and were at last, with the products of their labors, under strict party and state control. In the Ukraine all centers of independent national feeling had been crushed. Conquest meticulously reconstructs the background of the tragic events: the lives and aspirations of the peasants, the Ukrainian national struggle, the motives and methods of the Communist leadership. He carefully details the fate of villages and individuals and seeks a true accounting of the death toll, suppressed in official Societ statistics but deducible from other sources. He describes the desperate condition of children who were left homeless and recounts the various cruelties and agonies of the man made famine. He also shows how the West was, to a large degree, deceived about what was happening. Like The Great Terror, Conquest’s classic account of the Soviet mass purges of the late 1930s, The Harvest of Sorrow is a powerful and moving story that is also a work of authoritative scholarship. About the Author: Robert Conquest is a Senior Research Fellow and Scholar Curator of the East European Collection at the Hoover Institution, Stanford, University. He has authored numerous books on Soviet studies and foreign policy. The acclaimed author of The Great Terror ducments a human tragedy of epic proportions A long neglected chapter in the history of the twentieth century A heart rending chronicle of the fate of villages and individuals under Stalin’s collectivization program Seeks a true account of the death toll and shows how the West was deceived

Stalin and the Kirov Murder

On December 1, 1934, a lone gunman shot and killed Sergei Kirov, Secretary of the Central and Leningrad Party Organization, member of the Moscow Politburo, and heir apparent to Joseph Stalin. This assassination was arguably one of the most significant crimes of the century. Not only did it seal the fates of thousands and, indirectly, millions of people spuriously connected to the killer, but it eliminated the second most powerful man in Russian politics, giving Stalin free rein to dominate Soviet policy. Stalin and the Kirov Murder, written by the much acclaimed author of Harvest of Sorrow, is the first book length examination of the case. Robert Conquest chronicles this story of political misfeasance and cover up on the eve of what may be the first disclosure by the U.S.S.R. of the actual facts of the case. Though an interrogation was conducted in 1934, and over the next few years a purge charged thousands with complicity in the case, a number of unusual circumstances leading up to the murder were never properly explained. Why, for instance, was the assassin, who had twice been arrested in possession of a weapon, allowed unguarded in the building where the Leningrad government officials had their offices? As Roy Medvedev, a Leninist dissident, later explained, ‘The investigation was carried out in complete violation of the law, of common sense, of the desire to find and punish the real culprits.’ A later investigation, conducted under Khrushchev, produced 200 volumes of documents but was never made public. Now, 54 years after the crime was committed, glasnost has prompted a new examination of this singular crime one that will perhaps reveal the truth about the case for the first time. Based on all the available evidence, including official documents as well as the reports of numerous Russian defectors, Conquest has written a fascinating, at times chilling account of the murder and its aftermath. He concretely establishes what has long been rumored that Stalin not only sanctioned Kirov’s assassination, but used it as a justification for the terror that culminated in 1937 and ’38.

Stalin, Breaker of Nations

Robert Conquest is the foremost authority on the Stalinist period of Soviet history. The culmination of a lifetime’s work, this book is a masterly portrait of a man who ‘perhaps more than any other determined the course of the twentieth century’. Conquest focuses on Stalin’s terrifying character, perhaps the closest to a monster that humankind has ever produced. Stalin emerges as a man ‘unnatural’ and ‘unreal’, who gave his personal authority to the slaughter of millions, but whose vanity demanded their adulation. Most surprisingly, Conquest demonstrates that Stalin’s astounding power was not the reward of ability; it was the creation of a man whose mind was ‘of profound mediocrity, melded with superhuman willpower’.’There is no one better qualified to write Stalin’s life than Robert Conquest, who in his many books about the Stalinist era has told the story with such intimacy, expertise and passion…
Conquest tells the tale with an informed hatred for his subject, and a fine sense of irony which makes this book indispensable reading’ A.N. Wilson, Evening Standard

Reflections on a Ravaged Century

‘Illuminates the past with a mighty searchlight and clears away mountains of nonsense.’ Gabriel Schoenfeld, Wall Street JournalRobert Conquest has been called by Paul Johnson ‘our greatest living modern historian.’ As a new century begins, Conquest offers an illuminating examination of our past failures and a guide to where we should go next. Graced with one of the most acute gifts for political prescience since Orwell, Conquest assigns responsibility for our century’s cataclysms not to impersonal economic or social forces but to the distorted ideologies of revolutionary Marxism and National Socialism. The final, sobering chapters of Reflections on a Ravaged Century concern themselves with some coming storms, notably that of the European Union, which Conquest believes is an economic, cultural, and geographical misconception divisive of the West and doomed to failure. Winner of the Ingersoll Prize; winner of the Richard M. Weaver Prize; a New York Times Notable Book. ‘Provides many glowing embers of reasoned and wise argument.’ Richard Bernstein, The New York Times ‘A book that ought to be required reading for everyone about to enter college, and by every member of Congress.’ Frank Wilson, Philadelphia Inquirer

The Dragons of Expectation

A landmark defense of civilization that illuminates the political degradations and intellectual fetishisms of our world. The publication of The Dragons of Expectation in 2005 reaffirmed Robert Conquest’s stature as a leading intellectual and one of the world’s great humanists. In the tradition of Isaiah Berlin’s The Crooked Timber of Humanity and George Orwell’s Essays, this book brilliantly traces how seductive ideas have come to corrupt modern minds; to often disastrous effects. In what Publishers Weekly called ‘a frontal assault on the pieties of the left,’ Conquest masterfully examines how false nostrums have infected academia, politicians, and the public, showing how their reliance on ‘isms’ and the destructive concepts of ‘People, Nation, and Masses’ have resulted in a ruinous cycle of turbulence and war. Including fresh analyses of Russia’s October Revolution, World War II, and the Cold War, The Dragons of Expectation is one of the most important contributions to modern thought in recent years. 3 illustrations

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