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Robert Conquest

Robert Conquest is a senior research fellow and scholar-curator of the Russian and Commonwealth of Independent States Collection at the Hoover Institution[?].

He is the author of seventeen books on Soviet history, politics[?], and international affairs, including the classic The Great Terror (Macmillan, 1968).

Criticism of Robert Conquest

Conquest is often criticized by supporters of Stalin and the Soviet Union for exaggerating the number of people killed during the famines in Ukraine in 1932-33 and the purges of 1936-38.

Robert Conquest has also been identified as having worked for the IRD from when it was set up until 1956. The Information Research Department (IRD), was a section set up in 1947 (originally called the Communist Information Bureau) whose main task was to combat Communist influence throughout the world by planting stories among politicians[?], journalists and others in a position to influence public opinion. Conquest's work there was to contribute to the so-called "black history" of the Soviet Union -- in other words, fake stories put out as fact and distributed among journalists and others able to influence public opinion. After he had formally left the IRD, Conquest continued to write books suggested by the IRD, with Secret Service support. His book "The Great Terror", a basic anti-communist text on the subject of the power struggle that took place in the Soviet Union in 1937, was in fact a recompilation of text he had written when working for the secret services. The book was finished and published with the help of the IRD. A third of the publication run was bought by the Praeger press, normally associated with the publication of literature originating from CIA sources. Conquest's book was intended for presentation to "useful fools", such as university professors and people working in the press, radio and TV. Conquest to this day remains, for anti-communist historians, one of the most important sources of material on the Soviet Union.

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