Anne Elizabeth Applebaum (born July 25, 1964) is an American journalist and historian. She has written extensively about Marxism–Leninism and the development of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe.
July 25, 1964
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Education||Yale University (BA)|
London School of Economics (MA)
|Occupation||Journalist and author|
|Known for||Writing on former Soviet Union and its satellite countries|
She has worked at The Economist and The Spectator, and was a member of the editorial board of The Washington Post (2002–06). Applebaum won the Pulitzer Prize in April 2004 for Gulag: A History published the previous year. She is a staff writer for The Atlantic and a senior fellow at The Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
Early life and education
Applebaum was born in Washington, D.C. Her parents are Harvey M. Applebaum, a partner in the Covington and Burling law firm, and Elizabeth (née Bloom) Applebaum, of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Applebaum has stated that she was brought up in a "very reformed" Jewish family. Her ancestors came to America from what is now Belarus. She graduated from the Sidwell Friends School (1982). She earned a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in history and literature from Yale University, where she attended the Soviet history course taught by Wolfgang Leonhard in fall 1982. As a student, Applebaum spent a summer in Leningrad, Soviet Union in 1985, which she has written helped to shape her opinions. She was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. As a Marshall Scholar at the London School of Economics, she earned a master's degree in international relations (1987). She studied at St Antony's College, Oxford, before moving to Warsaw, Poland, in 1988 as a correspondent for The Economist.
Applebaum returned to Poland in 1998, where she continued to write for The Sunday Telegraph and other newspapers. In 2001, she did a major interview with prime minister Tony Blair. She also began to undertake historical research for her book Gulag: A History (2003) on the Soviet concentration camp system, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. It was also nominated for a National Book Award, for the Los Angeles Times book award and for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
|Booknotes interview with Applebaum on Gulag, May 25, 2003, C-SPAN|
|Q&A interview with Applebaum on Iron Curtain, December 16, 2012, C-SPAN|
From 2001 to 2005, Applebaum lived in Washington and was a member of The Washington Post editorial board. She wrote about a wide range of US policy issues, including healthcare, social security and education. She also began writing a column for The Washington Post which continued for seventeen years. Applebaum was also briefly an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank. Returning to Europe in 2005, Applebaum was a George Herbert Walker Bush/Axel Springer Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany, in 2006.
Her second history book, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944–56, was published in 2012 by Doubleday in the US and Allen Lane in the UK; it was nominated for a National Book Award, shortlisted for the 2013 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award.
From 2011 to 2016, she created and ran the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute, an international think tank and educational charity based in London. Among other projects, she ran a two-year program examining the relationship between democracy and growth in Brazil, India and South Africa, created the Future of Syria and Future of Iran projects on future institutional change in those two countries, and commissioned a series of papers on corruption in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Together with Foreign Policy magazine she created Democracy Lab, a website focusing on countries in transition to, or away from, democracy and which has since become Democracy Post at The Washington Post. She also ran Beyond Propaganda, a program examining 21st century propaganda and disinformation. Started in 2014, the program anticipated later debates about "fake news". In 2016, she left Legatum because of its stance on Brexit following the appointment of Euroskeptic Philippa Stroud as CEO and joined the London School of Economics as a Professor of Practice at the Institute for Global Affairs. At the LSE she ran Arena, a program on disinformation and 21st century propaganda. In the autumn of 2019 she moved the project to the Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University.
In October 2017, she published her third history book, Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine, a history of the Holodomor. The book won the Lionel Gelber Prize and the Duff Cooper Prize for the second time, making her the only author to ever win twice.
In November 2019, The Atlantic announced that Applebaum was joining the publication as a staff writer starting in January 2020. She was included in the 2020 Prospect list of the top-50 thinkers for the COVID-19 era.
Applebaum has been writing about Russia since the early 1990s. In 2000, she described the links between the then-new president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, with the former Soviet leader Yuri Andropov and the former KGB. In 2008, she began speaking about "Putinism" as an anti-democratic ideology, though most at the time still considered the Russian president to be a pro-Western pragmatist. Applebaum has also focused on Russia's failure to come to terms with the legacy of the USSR and of Joseph Stalin, both in Gulag: A History and in other writing and speeches.
Applebaum has been a vocal critic of Western conduct regarding the Russian military intervention in Ukraine. In an article in The Washington Post on March 5, 2014, she maintained that the US and its allies should not continue to enable "the existence of a corrupt Russian regime that is destabilizing Europe", noting that the actions of President Vladimir Putin had violated "a series of international treaties". On March 7, in another Telegraph article, discussing an information war, Applebaum argued that "a robust campaign to tell the truth about Crimea is needed to counter Moscow's lies". At the end of August she asked whether Ukraine should prepare for "total war" with Russia and whether central Europeans should join them.
In 2014, writing in The New York Review of Books she asked (in a review of Karen Dawisha's Putin's Kleptocracy) whether "the most important story of the past twenty years might not, in fact, have been the failure of democracy, but the rise of a new form of Russian authoritarianism". She has described the "myth of Russian humiliation" and argued that NATO and EU expansion have been a "phenomenal success". In July 2016, before the US election, she was one of the first American journalists to write about the significance of Russia's ties to Donald Trump and wrote that Russian support for Trump was part of a wider Russian political campaign designed to destabilize the West.
Applebaum has written extensively about the history of central and eastern Europe, Poland in particular. In the conclusion to her book Iron Curtain, Applebaum argued that the reconstruction of civil society was the most important and most difficult challenge for the post-communist states of central Europe; in another essay, she argued that the modern authoritarian obsession with civil society repression dates back to Lenin. She has written essays on the Polish film-maker Andrzej Wajda, on the dual Nazi-Soviet occupation of central Europe, and on why it is inaccurate to define "Eastern Europe" as a single entity.
Disinformation, propaganda and fake news
In 2014, Applebaum and Peter Pomerantsev launched Beyond Propaganda, a program examining disinformation and propaganda, at the Legatum Institute. Applebaum wrote that a 2014 Russian smear campaign aimed at her when she was writing heavily about the Russian annexation of Crimea. Dubious material posted on the web was eventually recycled by semi-respectable US pro-Russian websites. Applebaum argued in 2015 that Facebook should take responsibility for spreading false stories and help "undo the terrible damage done by Facebook and other forms of social media to democratic debate and civilized discussion all over the world".
In March 2016, eight months before the election of President Donald Trump, Applebaum wrote a Washington Post column asking, "Is this the end of the West as we know it?", which argued that "we are two or three bad elections away from the end of NATO, the end of the European Union and maybe the end of the liberal world order". Applebaum endorsed Hillary Clinton's campaign for president in July 2016 on the grounds that Trump is "a man who appears bent on destroying the alliances that preserve international peace and American power".
Applebaum's March 2016 Washington Post column inspired the Swiss magazine Tages-Anzeiger and the German magazine Der Spiegel to interview her, the articles appearing in December 2016 and January 2017. She argued very early on that the movement had an international dimension, that populist groups in Europe share "ideas and ideology, friends and founders", and that, unlike Burkean conservatives, they seek to "overthrow the institutions of the present to bring back things that existed in the past—or that they believe existed in the past—by force". Applebaum has underlined the danger of a new "Nationalist International," a union of xenophobic, nationalist parties such as Law and Justice in Poland, the Northern League in Italy, and the Freedom Party in Austria.
Applebaum is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is on the board of the National Endowment for Democracy and Renew Democracy Initiative. She was a member of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting's International Board of Directors. She was a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) where she co-led a major initiative aimed at countering Russian disinformation in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). She was on the editorial board for The American Interest and the Journal of Democracy.
In 1992, Applebaum married Radosław Sikorski, who later served as Poland's Defence Minister, Foreign Minister, and Marshal of the Sejm. The couple have two sons, Aleksander and Tadeusz. Her legal name is Anne Elizabeth Sikorska. She became a Polish citizen in 2013. She speaks Polish and Russian in addition to English.
Awards and honors
- 1992 Charles Douglas-Home Memorial Trust Award
- 2003 National Book Award Nonfiction, finalist, Gulag: A History
- 2003 Duff Cooper Prize for Gulag: A History
- 2004 Pulitzer Prize (General Non-Fiction), Gulag: A History
- 2008 Estonian Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana third class
- 2008 Lithuanian Millenium Star
- 2010 Petőfi Prize
- 2012 Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
- 2012 National Book Award (Nonfiction), finalist, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944–1956
- 2013 Cundill Prize, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944–1956
- 2013 Duke of Westminster's Medal for Military Literature, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944–1956
- 2017 Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa, Georgetown University
- 2017 Honorary Doctorate, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
- 2017 Duff Cooper Prize for her book Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine
- 2018 Lionel Gelber Prize for her book Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine
- 2018 Honorary Fritz Stern Professor, University of Wrocław
- 2019 Premio Nonino "Maestro del nostro tempo" ("Master of our Time")
- 2019 Order of Princess Olga, third class
- 2021 National Magazine Awards finalist in categories "Essays and Criticism" and "Columns and Commentary"
Lectures and podcasts
- 2008 American Academy in Berlin lecture: Putinism, the Ideology
- 2012–2013 Applebaum held the Phillip Roman chair at the London School of Economics and gave four major lectures on the history and contemporary politics of eastern Europe and Russia
- 2015 Munk debates
- 2016 Intelligence Squared
- Sam Harris: The Russian Connection
- Jay Nordlinger: Putin and the Present Danger
- 2017 Georgetown School of Foreign Service Commencement Speech
- 2012 - 2020: Fresh Air
- Applebaum, Anne (1994). Between East and West: Across the Borderlands of Europe. Pantheon Books.
- Gulag: A History, Doubleday, 2003, 677 pages, ISBN 0-7679-0056-1; paperback, Bantam Dell, 2004, 736 pages, ISBN 1-4000-3409-4
- Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944–1956, Allen Lane, 2012, 614 pages, ISBN 978-0-713-99868-9 / Doubleday ISBN 978-0-385-51569-6
- Gulag Voices : An Anthology, Yale University Press, 2011, 224 pages, ISBN 9780300177831; hardback
- From a Polish Country House Kitchen, Chronicle Books, 2012, 288 pages, ISBN 1-452-11055-7; hardback
- Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine, Penguin Randomhouse, 2017
- — (November 6, 2017). "100 years later, Bolshevism is back. And we should be worried". The Washington Post.
- — (October 2018). "A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come". The Atlantic.
- Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism, Doubleday, 2020, 224 pages, ISBN 978-0385545808; hardback
- "Weddings: Anne Applebaum, Radek Sikorski". The New York Times. June 28, 1992.
- Petrone, Justine. "Interview with Anne Applebaum". City Paper. Baltic News Ltd. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
- "Anne Applebaum". Contemporary Authors Online (updated November 30, 2005. ed.). Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale. 2008 . H1000119613. Archived from the original on January 12, 2001. Retrieved 2009-04-14. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center.
- Cohen, Nick (July 12, 2020). "Anne Applebaum: how my old friends paved the way for Trump and Brexit". The Observer. London. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
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- "'The Known World' Wins Pulitzer Prize for Fiction". The New York Times. April 5, 2004. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
- "Anne Applebaum Joins The Atlantic as Staff Writer". The Atlantic. 2019-11-15. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
- "Anne Applebaum : Stavros Niarchos Foundation SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins". snfagora.jhu.edu. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
- Levyyesterday, Gideon (2013-01-04). "Through a (communist) looking glass, then and now". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
- ""Беларусі трэба нацыяналізм". Ляўрэатка "Пулітцэра" пра радзіму прадзедаў і выхад з тупіку гісторыі". svaboda.org (in Belarusian). Retrieved 2018-09-30.
- "Anne Applebaum — internationales literaturfestival berlin". Literaturfestival.com (in German). Retrieved 2017-04-03.
- Applebaum, Anne (2012). Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956. New York USA: Doubleday. p. 282,508. ISBN 9780385515696.
- "Russia and the Great Forgetting". Commentary. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- "Anne E. Applebaum to Wed in June". The New York Times. December 8, 1991. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
... is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
- "Anne Applebaum". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
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- "From concentration camps to cotton". Idaho Mountain express and guide. Express publishing inc. March 25, 2005. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
- "The 2004 Pulitzer Prize Winners General Nonfiction". Archived from the original on October 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
- Award Winning Books, Random House website
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- Leonard, Brooke (May 8, 2008). "Turning Abkhazia into a War". National Interest. New York City. Archived from the original on January 13, 2009. Retrieved December 31, 2008.
- "Die strategischen Antworten Europas – Strategiepapier für das X. International Bertelsmann Forum 2006" (in German). Bertelsmann Stiftung. September 22–23, 2006. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
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- "Londoner's Diary: Love's Legatum Lost in battle over Brexit". Evening Standard. 2016-12-08. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
- Science, London School of Economics and Political. "People". London School of Economics and Political Science. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
- Prize, The Lionel Gelber. "Anne Applebaum's Red Famine Wins the 2018 Lionel Gelber Prize". www.newswire.ca. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
- "Past Winners of The Duff Cooper Prize - The Duff Cooper Prize". www.theduffcooperprize.org. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
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- "The Gulag: what we know now and why it matters". www.lse.ac.uk. Archived from the original on April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- "Russia's Western enablers". The Washington Post. March 5, 2014.
- "Russia's information warriors are on the march – we must respond". The Daily Telegraph. March 7, 2014.
- Applebaum, Anne (August 29, 2014). "War in Europe". Slate. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
- Applebaum, Anne (December 18, 2014). "How He and His Cronies Stole Russia". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- Applebaum, Anne (October 17, 2014). "The myth of Russian humiliation". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- Applebaum, Anne (July 21, 2016). "How a Trump presidency could destabilize Europe". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- Applebaum, Anne; Lucas, Edward (May 6, 2016). "The danger of Russian disinformation". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- Applebaum, Anne (2015-10-19). "The Leninist Roots of Civil Society Repression". Journal of Democracy. 26 (4): 21–27. doi:10.1353/jod.2015.0068. ISSN 1086-3214.
- Applebaum, Anne. "A Movie That Matters". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
- Applebaum, Anne. "The Worst of the Madness". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
- "Does Eastern Europe still exist?". Prospect Magazine. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
- "The anti-Europeans have a plan for crippling the European Union". The Washington Post. January 15, 2019.
- "Beyond Propaganda". www.li.com. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
- Applebaum, Anne (December 20, 2016). "I was a victim of a Russian smear campaign. I understand the power of fake news". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- Applebaum, Anne (December 10, 2015). "Mark Zuckerberg should spend $45 billion on undoing Facebook's damage to democracies". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- Applebaum, Anne (2016-03-04). "Is this the end of the West as we know it?". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
- Applebaum, Anne (July 28, 2016). "Why we need a President Clinton". The Washington Post.
- Cassidy, Alan; Loser, Philipp (2016-12-27). "Ähnlich wie in den 1930er-Jahren". Tages-Anzeiger (in German). ISSN 1422-9994. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
- "Historian Anne Applebaum on Trump: 'Protest Is Insufficient'". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 2017-04-20.
- Applebaum, Anne (2016-11-04). "Trump is a threat to the West as we know it, even if he loses". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
- "The anti-Europeans have a plan for crippling the European Union". The Washington Post. January 15, 2019.
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Radosław Sikorski is married to journalist and writer Anne Applebaum, who won the 2004 Pulitzer prize for her book "Gulag: A History". They have two sons: Aleksander and Tomasz.
- "Postanowienie Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 7 listopada 2012 r. o nadaniu orderu". 2012-11-07.
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Anne Applebaum jest już pełnoprawną Polką.
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- "National Book Award Finalists Announced Today". Library Journal. October 10, 2012. Archived from the original on December 6, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- Press Release (21 November 2013). "Ann Applebaum wins 2013 Cundill Prize". McGill University. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- Royal United Services Institute (5 December 2013). "Duke of Westminster Medal for Military Literature 2013". Retrieved 21 January 2017.
- "Commencement Speakers Present Varied Experiences". 2017-05-19. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
- "Anne Applebaum receives an Honorary Doctorate at NaUKMA". Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America. 2017-12-16. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
- Press Release: Anne Applebaum's Red Famine Wins the 2018 Lionel Gelber Prize, CISION, March 13, 2018. Accessed September 14, 2018.
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- Quotations related to Anne Applebaum at Wikiquote
- Media related to Anne Applebaum at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- 2005 Pulitzer Prize citation for Gulag: A History
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- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Putinism: the ideology on YouTube – 1:20 lecture by Anne Applebaum spoken in London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), recorded on Monday 28 January 2013.