Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Maisky Diaries: Red Ambassador to the Court of St James’s 1932-1943 edited by Gabriel Gorodetsky

This was really interesting, a good example of why diaries can be better than memoirs. Ie they are not written at one time with a particular objective.

They give an interesting insight into political life in Britain in the 1930s and on into the war. The notes etc.. from the editor are very useful. One interesting aspect is Maisky’s relationship to Stalin and his entourage. He was viewed with suspicion being seen along with Litvinov as not really on-side. Ironically when he was recalled, all the efforts of Eden etc… to tell Stalin that they missed Maisky and found him useful made him more suspect. This shows how little British politicians really understood Stalinist government. Just before Stalin’s death he was arrested — but was probably saved by the changes that came.