Roy Medvedev
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Roy Medvedev
Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev
Born (1925-11-14) 14 November 1925 (age 94)
Alma materSaint Petersburg State University
Known forHuman rights activism with participation in dissident movement in the Soviet Union
Scientific career
FieldsRussian studies, investigative journalism

Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev (Russian: ; born 14 November 1925) is a Russian political writer, author of the dissident history of Stalinism, Let History Judge (Russian: ? ? ?), first published in English in 1972.


Medvedev was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. He had an identical twin brother, the biologist Zhores Medvedev, who died in 2018. From a Marxist viewpoint, Roy criticized former Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin and Stalinism in general during the Soviet era. In the early 1960s, Medvedev was engaged in samizdat publications. He was critical of the unscientific nature of Lysenkoism.

Medvedev was expelled from the Communist Party in 1969 after his book Let History Judge was published abroad. The book criticized Stalin and Stalinism at a time when official Soviet propagandists were trying to rehabilitate the former General Secretary. Let History Judge reflected the dissident thinking that emerged in the 1960s among Soviet intellectuals who, like Medvedev, sought a reformist version of socialism. He announced his position, along with Andrei Sakharov and others, in an open letter to the Soviet leadership in 1970. In a book co-authored with his twin brother, Zhores, A Question of Madness, Medvedev describes Zhores' involuntary commitment in the Kaluga Psychiatric Hospital (see Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union). Zhores, a dissident biologist, was questioned in the hospital about his involvement with samizdat, and his book The Rise and Fall of T.D. Lysenko. Zhores was exiled to Britain in the 1970s.

Roy rejoined the Communist Party in 1989, after Mikhail Gorbachev launched his perestroika and glasnost program of gradual political and economic reforms. He was elected to the Soviet Union's Congress of People's Deputies and was named as member of the Supreme Soviet, the permanent working body of the Congress. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 Medvedev and dozens of other former communist deputies of the Soviet and Russian parliaments founded the Socialist Party of Working People, and became a co-chair of the party.[1] Medvedev supports the current President of Russia and former Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.[2]

Publications in English

  • Let History Judge: The Origin and Consequences of Stalinism, Alfred A.Knopf, New York, 1972 ISBN 0-394-44645-3
  • On Socialist Democracy, Alfred A.Knopf, New York, 1975, ISBN 0-394-48960-8
  • Problems in the Literary Biography of Mikhail Sholokhov, Cambridge University Press, 1977
  • Khrushchev, Blackwell, Oxford, Doubleday,New York, 1983, ISBN 0-385-18387-9
  • The October Revolution, Columbia University Press, New York, 1979, ISBN 0094629005
  • All Stalin's Men, Blackwell, Oxford, 1984, ISBN 0-385-18388-7
  • A Question Of Madness (with Zhores Medvedev). Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York. 1971. ISBN 0-394-47900-9 ISBN 0-14-003783-7
  • Khrushchev: The Years in Power (with Zhores Medvedev). 198 pages. Columbia University Press. 1976. ISBN 0-231-03939-5
  • On Soviet Dissent Columbia University Press. 1979. ISBN 0-231-04812-2
  • Philip Mironov and the Russian Civil War (with Sergei Starikov) Alfred Knopf. 1978. ISBN 0-394-40681-8
  • Leninism and Western Socialism Verso. 1981. ISBN 0-86091-739-8
  • Nikolai Bukharin: The Last Years. 176 pages. W W Norton & Co Inc. 1983. ISBN 0-393-30110-9
  • Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism (Revised and expanded edition). Columbia University Press. 1989. ISBN 0-231-06350-4
  • Post-Soviet Russia: A Journey Through the Yeltsin Era (with George Shriver). 394 pages. Columbia University Press. 2002. ISBN 0-231-10607-6
  • The Unknown Stalin (with Zhores Medvedev). The Overlook Press. 336 pages. 2004. ISBN 1-58567-502-4
  • China and the Superpowers. Basil Blackwell. Oxford. 1986. ISBN 0-631-13843-9


  1. ^ Weir, Fred (February 1993). "An interview with Roy Medvedev". Monthly Review. 44 (9): 1-10. doi:10.14452/MR-044-09-1993-02_1.
  2. ^ Vishnevsky, Boris (25 January 2008). "Praising ode". Novaya Gazeta. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015.
  • Inside Russia Today. David K. Shipler.

Further reading

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