Brian Fitzpatrick, was a prominent civil rights activist Job Function Email List as well as a democratic socialist who, as you said yourself, liked to shock the bourgeoisie. How much did family background influence you in defining Soviet history as your field of study? It influenced me, although not Job Function Email List always directly. I would identify two very particular issues. One is that, as a teenager in the 1950s, I developed the kind of critique that young people of that age make of every possible Job Function Email List aspect of their parents' lives. In that sense,
I began to challenge my father, not so much in his fundamental Job Function Email List political beliefs –which were associated and deeply linked to the struggle for civil liberties–, but in relation to something quite peripheral for him: his admiration for the USSR . Or at least his hope that the USSR was at some point worthy of such sentiment. I didn't know much about that experience, but like other people Job Function Email List on the left I felt that the ussr probablyhe was being smeared by the capitalist press and that led to some kind of support. I considered that he did not have enough information and that is why I peppered him a bit with my questions. However, I soon realized that it was extremely difficult to form an Job Function Email List opinion about the USSR because the available literature was not only sparse.
But completely contradictory. These Job Function Email List were partisan books for or against, and it was impossible to understand what had really happened or was happening there. And that seemed like an interesting challenge. The second thing that influenced my decision to Job Function Email List study Russian history is that at the University of Melbourne, where I was studying History, you had to study a foreign language. I wanted to learn German, but they wouldn't let me do it because I didn't have a Job Function Email List background – since it wasn't offered as part of the curriculum at my high school. So my parents suggested that I study Russian.