I soon realized that it was extremely difficult to form an opinion Job Function Email List about the USSR because the available literature was not only sparse, but completely contradictory. These were partisan books for or against, and it was impossible to understand what had really Job Function Email List happened or was happening there. And that seemed like an interesting challenge.The second issue that influenced my decision to study Russian history is that at the University Job Function Email List of Melbourne, where I was Job Function Email List studying History, you had to study a foreign language. I wanted to learn German,
But they wouldn't let me do it because I didn't have a Job Function Email List background – since it wasn't offered as part of the curriculum at my high school. So my parents suggested that I study Russian. The reason behind it was the emblematic episode of the Job Function Email List Cold War in Australia: the defection of the Soviet diplomat Vladimir Petrov, which led to the creation in 1954 of a Royal Commission Job Function Email List on Espionage [ Royal Commission on Espionage]. In the hysteria that followed, some members of Parliament began to question the loyalty of the person who headed the Department of Russian Language and Literature at the University of Melbourne. It was a kind of legally permitted smear campaign. She was a Russian named Nina Mikhailovna Christesen, married to the director of a literary magazine who was a friend of my father. My parents,
Like other members of the left-wing intelligentsia with Job Function Email List college-age children, suggested that I study Russian so that Nina's number of students would increase and things would be easier for her. So that's what I did. She took the first Russian course, which was Job Function Email List all that was required. But after I finished that course, I thought, “I don't know enough about the language to make it useful. I will also do the second year». And in fact, I took the second year in Russian, which gave me enough reading knowledge to take the risk of dealing with a topic using Russian sources for my Job Function Email List fourth year history research essay. And that led me to become a historian of Russia.