Norman Stone

Norman Stone is a historian and author and currently Professor in the Department of INternational Relations at Bilkent University, Ankara. Previous posts include Professor at the University of Oxford, Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. His books include The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A Personal History of the Cold War (2010) and Turkey: A Short History (2011).

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This week's big questions: Should Turkey join the EU? Should the UK have a referendum on leaving it?

This week's questions are answered by historian and author Norman Stone

Can Russia survive the horrors that lie ahead?

I am now deeply pessimistic about the Russian future and feel sorry for the Russians

The Saturday Essay: Germany's two fat men, and a lesson from history

Bismarck had great charisma and, a rarity in Germany, a gift for one-liners, something he shared with Hitler

Historical Notes: Russia was better off under the Tsars

THERE WAS always one argument that Soviet Communism could use. It was that Old Russia had been very backward, full of drunken peasants, and that Stalin, with his Five Year plans to create modern industry, had changed all that. Soviet planning might therefore be extended, with profit, to other backward parts of the world. A central part of this argument - very fashionable in the Sixties and Seventies - was that Tsarist Russia had been defeated by the Germans, whereas Stalin won the next round, and would not have done so without the industrial wherewithal created, with so much sacrifice, in the Thirties.

The View From Here; Teaching at a Turkish university is a huge uplift for the spirit

The high plateau of Central Anatolia has been tramped over by armies since the Old Testament, and looks it. In fact Ankara, its centre, was chosen as capital of the Turkish republic in 1923 precisely because it enjoyed a position and a climate that were alike forbidding; the proposal to turn it into the capital came from a German general who found Istanbul and its inhabitants, respectively, enervating and enervated. Ankara would not be Levantine: it would invigorate, and so it does. It was from here that modern Turkey pulled herself up by the bootstraps. Predatory foreigners were thrown out from a country that everyone had written off, and Turkey then underwent one of the world's few successful experiments in modernisation without labour camps. In 1970, her economy was one-third that of Sweden. It is now equal to Sweden's.
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