Applebaum in 2013
Anne Elizabeth Applebaum
July 25, 1964
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Nationality||American and Polish|
|Education||Sidwell Friends School|
|Alma mater||Yale University|
London School of Economics
|Occupation||Journalist and author|
|Known for||Writings on former Soviet Union and its satellite countries|
Rados?aw Sikorski (m. 1992)
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.
She has edited 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.
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 BA (summa cum laude) in history and literature at Yale University (1986), where she attended the Soviet history course taught by Wolfgang Leonhard in autumn 1982. While a student, Applebaum spent a summer in Leningrad, Soviet Union in 1985 which she has written helped to shape her opinions. She was 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.
From 1988, Applebaum wrote about the collapse of communism from Warsaw. Working for The Economist and The Independent, she provided front-page and cover stories of important social and political transitions in Central and Eastern Europe, both before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In 1994 she published her first book, Between East and West, a travelogue describing the rise of nationalism in the Western republics of the Soviet Union. The book was awarded an Adolph Bentinck Prize in 1996.
Applebaum worked briefly as the Africa editor of The Economist in 1992. In 1993, she left the paper and became the foreign editor and then the deputy editor of The Spectator, where she wrote about British and international politics, writing cover stories from Brussels, Moscow, Washington and Milan as well as London. She also wrote regular columns for both The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph in London. In 1996 and 1997 Applebaum wrote exclusively about Britain, and in particular the victory of Tony Blair's Labour Party, as the political columnist for London's Evening Standard newspaper.
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 LA Times book award and for the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was eventually translated into more than 25 languages.
|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 where she 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 and won the Cundill Prize for Historical Literature as well as the Duke of Westminster Medal.
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, being the only author to ever win twice.
On February 21, 2014, Applebaum wrote in The Daily Telegraph, documenting the breakdown in law and order in Ukraine over the previous fortnight. She concluded that it "is not a war, or even a conflict which either side can win with weapons. It will have to be solved through negotiations, elections, political debate; by civic organisations, political parties and political leaders, both charismatic and otherwise; with the participation of other European states and Ukraine's other neighbors".
Applebaum has been a vocal critic of Western conduct regarding the 2014 Crimean crisis. In an article in The Washington Post on March 5, 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 a panel discussion at Harvard's Ukrainian Research Institute, she conceded that, while most of Crimean residents may have desired to join Russia, the annexation was not legitimized by this, referencing the illegitimacy of the Anschluss and how most Austrian citizens assented to Hitler's invasion.
In October 2002, Applebaum wrote that Americans "should be prepared" for a war with Iraq. She also wrote that "Although I dislike the modern tendency to compare every mad dictator to Hitler, in this narrow sense, the comparison to Saddam might be apt. Are you sure Saddam would not risk the destruction of his country, if he thought, for some reason, that he or his regime was in danger? Do you want to wait and find out?"
In 2004, Applebaum wrote that "President Bush's declaration of opposition to Palestinians' "right of return" to Israel is realistic... Nor, finally, is this solution necessarily illegal, even by the narrow terms of international law. Israel occupies Gaza and the West Bank, after all, as a result of the 1967 war, which Israel did not start".
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 Tagesanzeiger 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 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.
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 to point out 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. More broadly, 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.
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 invasion 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."
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 is a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) where she co-leads a major initiative aimed at countering Russian disinformation in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). She is on the editorial board for The American Interest and the Journal of Democracy.
In 1992, Applebaum married Rados?aw Sikorski, who would later serve 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.
... is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Rados?aw 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.
Anne Applebaum jest ju? pe?noprawn? Polk?.