Pulitzer Prize-winning author to speak at Aberystwyth University

Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer-prize winning historian and journalist

Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer-prize winning historian and journalist

29 January 2018

The controversy surrounding the reporting of the great Ukranian famine of 1932-1933 which killed 7-10m people will provide the back drop for the 2018 Annual David Davies Memorial Institute lecture.

Pulitzer-Prize winning historian and journalist, Anne Applebaum, will present ‘A tale of two journalists: Gareth Jones, Walter Duranty and the Ukrainian famine’.

In her lecture on Thursday, 8 February 2018, Applebaum will talk about the contrasting reporting of Gareth Jones and Walter Duranty as the famine was taking place.

Barry born Gareth Jones graduated from Aberystwyth in 1926. He was the first western journalist to bring the terrible atrocities taking place in Ukraine to the attention of readers outside the Soviet Union.

Walter Duranty, a Pulizer-Prize winning journalist himself for his reporting on the Soviet Union, ignored the plight of the millions who suffered during the famine. His work on the famine led to calls for the award to be revoked.

The lecture will draw on Anne Applebaum’s most recent book The Red Famine, which was published to a great acclaim in September 2017.

The book has garnered a number of prizes, including the Sunday Times, The Times, and Financial Times Book of the Year 2017 awards.

Jan Ruzicka, Director of the David Davies Memorial Institute, said: “It will be a great honour to welcome Anne Applebaum to Aberystwyth. She is a great writer and we are truly privileged to have her as our speaker this year. In the 1930s, Gareth Jones showed the importance of reporting based on facts, while Walter Duranty wilfully ignored and denied the suffering of millions of starving people in Ukraine. The parallels with today are striking. We extend a warm welcome to all to attend the lecture which has a considerable local connection and will be of great interest to the general public.”

The lecture takes place in the Main Hall of the International Politics Department at Aberystwyth University on Thursday, 8 February 2018 at 6:00 pm. There will be a drinks reception prior to the event. Entrance is free and all are welcome.

Anne Applebaum is a columnist for the Washington Post and a prize-winning historian with expertise in the history of communist and post-communist Europe.

Besides Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine her books include Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe; and Gulag: A History, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction.

A former member of the Washington Post editorial board, a former deputy editor of the Spectator magazine, and a former Warsaw correspondent of The Economist, she writes regularly for the New York Review of Books, Foreign Affairs and many other publications.

She is currently a Professor of Practice at the London School of Economics, where she runs ARENA, a research project on disinformation and 21st century propaganda.

In November 2017 the Deputy Ambassador of Ukraine to the UK Minister-Counsellor Andriy Marchenko, marked the 85th anniversary of the great Ukranian famine - the Holodomor - by laying a wreath at a memorial to Gareth Jones in the Old College at Aberystwyth University.

The David Davies Memorial Institute of International Studies would like to express its gratitude to the Gwendoline and Margaret Davies Charity for supporting the Annual Lecture Series and the work of the Institute as a whole. The DDMI was established in 1951 to commemorate and develop the legacy of Lord David Davies of Llandinam.