Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I can remember conceiving of Soviet Roulette years ago.  I was in the kitchen with my ex-wife's friend who maintained a couple of popular blogs:  one devoted to children's spelling bees and the other devoted to American Idol.   Julia and Julia, blogging most famous portrayal on film, had recently been in theaters.  Having just finished a series of books on Russia, I decided right there and then that I too could start a blog.  My ex-wife's friend, a successful script writer in Hollywood, promised to make a movie out of Soviet Roulette if I could find a good hook.  Well, I'm not sure I ever found a good "hook" and certainly no movie was ever made.  On the other hand, I did write about modern Russian history and its resonance in my own life history for several years. The practice of writing so frequently was good for me.  I think the blog format also helped me to confront an old fear I had about writing for an audience, however small.  But most importantly, the blog helped me to revitalize my interest in pursuing a more formal career in history.

Soviet Roulette is officially on hiatus.  This will probably be my last post for several months, if not longer.  In recent weeks, I have re-applied to graduate school, asking to have my doctoral candidacy reactivated at a large public research institution.  If that candidacy is granted, I won't have the time to write about Russian history or the Soviet Revolution.  Without any Russian language experience, I'm asking to return to British history and the history of the British Empire.  This is exciting prospect, but also a daunting one.  In preparation, I've immersed myself in British and Indian primary and secondary sources, working hard to be current in the modern scholarship of modern Britain and its empire.  My hope is to find a way to tie Britain, India, and international communism together into a viable dissertation topic.  I'm also thinking very seriously about launching a new blog that tracks my work on this subject as it evolves over time.  Thanks to my readers for all of your comments, encouragement, and involvement over the years!