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  • To the Editors
  • Orlando Figes

Catriona Kelly has dealt with some of the issues raised by Steven A. Grant's review of her book Children's World in which he accuses "British academics like Orlando Figes" of pursuing "scholarship as enterprise" on the grounds that they have employed assistants in Russia.1 But I would like to add my strong objection to his cheap and snide attack on me.

As I pointed out in my response to your editorial on "Marketing Russian History," the employment of Memorial's researchers as collaborators in the oral history project for my book The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia was essential to accomplish what we did—the assembling of a large archive of interview transcripts, sound recordings, documents, and photographs—many of which are freely available online ( One might have hoped that this public service would be recognized by Dr. Grant, whose cavalier attack on British academics brings disrepute to Kritika. [End Page 453]

Orlando Figes
School of History, Archaeology, and Classics Birkbeck College
University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom


1. Catriona Kelly, "To the Editors," Kritika 11, 1 (2010): 212–13; Steven A. Grant, review of Kelly, Children's World: Growing Up in Russia, 1890–1991 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), Kritika 10, 3 (2009): 730–42, here 731.

2. "Marketing Russian History," Kritika 9, 3 (2008): 497–504; Orlando Figes, "To the Editors," Kritika 10, 1 (2009): 221–22; Figes, The Whisperers: Private Lives in Stalin's Russia (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2007).



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