Braithwaite, Rodric 1932- (Rodric Quentin Braithwaite)

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Braithwaite, Rodric 1932- (Rodric Quentin Braithwaite)

PERSONAL:

Born May 17, 1932; son of Henry Warwick and Lorna Constance Braithwaite; married, April, 1961; wife's name Gillian Mary; children: Richard, Katharine, Julian and Mark (twins), David. Education: Christ's College, Cambridge, B.A.

ADDRESSES:

Home—London, England.

CAREER:

British National Service, 1950-52; British Diplomatic Service, beginning 1955, ambassador to Moscow, 1988-92; foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister John Major, 1992-93; Deutsche Bank AG, senior advisor, 1994-2002. All Souls College, Oxford, visiting fellow, 1972-73; member of the supervisory board of Deutsch Bank Moscow; chairman of the board of UralMarsh Zovody; chairman of the Britain Russia Centre and Moscow School of Political Studies.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George, 1994; honorary degrees from Christ's College and University of Birmingham.

WRITINGS:

(With Robert D. Blackwill and Akihiko Tanaka) Engaging Russia: A Report to the Trilateral Commission, Trilateral Commission (New York, NY), 1995.

Across the Moscow River: The World Turned Upside Down, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2002.

Moscow 1941: A City and Its People at War, Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Rodric Braithwaite was a career diplomat and served as the British ambassador to Moscow during the fall of the Soviet Union. His experience has enabled him to write of this period in history, including the book Across the Moscow River: The World Turned Upside Down.

Moscow 1941: A City and Its People at War is Braithwaite's study of the German invasion of Stalin's Moscow, an event he considers a turning point in World War II. He draws on memoirs, diaries, letters, and interviews in forming his portrait of the steps taken by the Russians to prepare for and defeat the assault on Moscow. He provides a chronological account of events leading to the invasion, including Stalin's failure to heed the warnings that it was about to come. Braithwaite also blames the reluctance of the Russian people to defend their country, which extorted their earnings and crops, causing the deaths of millions, and sent resistors to Siberia to die.

An Economist reviewer commented: "Soviet wartime conditions are painted in all their gruesome inefficiency and brutality," and wrote that the book provides "a vivid picture of the stark and bloody struggle for national survival with which Russia's war began." Commentary contributor Edward N. Luttwak wrote: "Braithwaite is obviously a talented historian, and one who knows how to write. He also knows Russian, not as a foreigner who has studied the language but as a highly cultured Russian might…. "For the first time, one feels that one understands every stage of this story."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 1, 2006, Gilbert Taylor, review of Moscow 1941: A City and Its People at War, p. 39.

Commentary, January, 2007, Edward N. Luttwak, review of Moscow 1941, p. 61.

Economist, September 23, 2006, review of Moscow 1941, p. 95.

Publishers Weekly, July 31, 2006, review of Moscow 1941, p. 70.

Russian Life, September-October, 2006, Paul E. Richardson, review of Moscow 1941, p. 61.

Spectator, May 27, 2006, M.R.D. Foot, review of Moscow 1941.

ONLINE

Bookslut,http://www.bookslut.com/ (April 16, 2007), Elizabeth Kiem, review of Moscow 1941.

California Literary Review,http://www.calitreview.com/ (December 18, 2006), Peter Bridges, review of Moscow 1941.

Center for European Reform Web site,http://www.cer.org.uk/ (April 16, 2007), brief biography.

London Times Online,http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ (March 12, 2006), review of Moscow 1941.

Observer Online,http://books.guardian.co.uk/ (April 9, 2006), Viv Groskop, review of Moscow 1941.