Leading historian rivalry


A leading historian has admitted writing anonymous online reviews condemning his rivals’ work.
Orlando Figes, a professor at London’s Birkbeck College and the author of many books on Russian history, wrote the negative reviews on the Amazon website

According to a detailed account of the row in the Times Literary Supplement (TLS), the controversy began when Rachel Polonsky – a writer and Russian expert – discovered a hostile review of her recently-published book on Amazon.
The comments posted online said her work was “hard to follow”. Others described a book by Robert Service as “awful”.
Meanwhile the reviewer who used the online moniker, “orlando-birkbeck”, had reportedly praised a book by Figes as “fascinating”.

The TLS said that initially, when confronted by the allegations of his involvement, Figes’ instructed his lawyer to threaten legal action.
Subsequently, it said, Figes stated that his wife, a leading human rights lawyer, had written the comments.
On Friday, the historian issued a statement apologising to those he had written about, his lawyer, and his wife.
“I panicked when confronted with an email sent to academics and the press and instructed my lawyer without thinking this through rationally.
“This escalated the situation and brought more pressure on myself by prompting a legal response.
“My wife loyally tried to save me and protect our family at a moment of intense stress when she was worried for my health, and I owe her an unreserved apology.”

Oh dear… even the nerve to balme his wife…
– News Story

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Ammara said,

    oh wat a retard :\


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