Fine work by Figes

May 16, 1997

Both the main article (by Andrew Robinson) and the inset (by Hannah Baldock) give undeserved publicity to aspersions cast on the work of Orlando Figes. His recent study of the Russian revolution rests on original research of the highest quality.

Unlike the disappointing doorstoppers produced a few years earlier by Richard Pipes, which ignored much of the best work of recent decades on the social history of the revolution, Figes managed to synthesise political and social perspectives into a rich and vibrant narrative. Petty and tiresome carping over a handful of well-worn phrases in a book of over 900 pages does not belong in a discussion of plagiarism.

Edward Acton

University of East Anglia

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