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RNA President Dr. Cyril Geacintov introduces author and historian Douglas Smith

On September 19, 2013 at the Kozciuscko Foundation, the Russian Nobility Association presented the Prince Alexis Scherbatow Lecture, “Former People” by Douglas Smith, eminent historian and author of several books on Russian history.

“Former People” is the story of the systematic eradication of the aristocracy and nobility of Russia by the Soviets from 1917 until the beginning of the Second World War.  Using the intertwined stories of two great families, the Cheremeteffs and the Galitzines, Douglas uses the specific stories of members of these two houses to illustrate the greater process of class warfare and the systematic eradication of the lives and legacies of members of the noble class.  Despite the horrifying tales of relentless humiliation and imprisonment suffered by the nobles who chose to remain in Russia or could not leave the Soviet Union, there are stories of great heroism and faith told in the pages of this extraordinary new book.

​Douglas Smith is an awarding-winning historian and translator and the author of four books on Russia. He studied German and Russian at the University of Vermont and has a doctorate in history from UCLA.  Over the past twenty-five years Smith has made many trips to Russia. In the 1980s, he was a Russian-speaking guide on the U. S. State Department’s exhibition “Information USA” that traveled throughout the USSR. He has worked as a Soviet affairs analyst at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany specializing in Russian nationalism and served as an interpreter for late President Reagan.

Smith has taught and lectured widely in the United States, Britain, and Europe and has appeared in documentaries for A&E and National Geographic. He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including a Fulbright scholarship and a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study Center.  His latest book, Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy, was published in 2012 with Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the U.S. and Macmillan in the U.K.

Learn more about him at www.douglassmith.info

 

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