Orlando Figes is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. Born in London in 1959, he graduated with a Double-Starred First from Cambridge University, where he was a Lecturer in History and Fellow of Trinity College from 1984 to 1999. He is the author of many books on Russian history, including A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution, 1891-1924, which in 1997 received the Wolfson Prize, the NCR Book Award, the W.H. Smith Literary Award, the Longman/History Today Book Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia (2002) was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Duff Cooper Prize. His latest is The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia (also in hardback) (2007), which is featured here. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.