michael scammell

Michael Scammell is the author of Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth Century Skeptic and Solzhenitsyn, A Biography. He has translated books by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Nabokov into English and writes regularly about Russian and East European literature. 

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24 June 2015

"100 Biographies to Love"

Last Sunday (June 21) the Culture supplement of the London Sunday Times published a special feature with the self-explanatory title, "100 biographies to love," that included the two by myself,...

27 June 2014

The CIA and Pasternak

Long term suspicions that the CIA had a hand in publicizing Doctor Zhivago have just been confirmed in a new book, The Zhivago Affair (see my article on Pasternak for the NYRB of July 10 and my...

26 June 2014

My First Medal

Well, well, I've just been awarded my first medal. On June 5, I was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland by the President of the Republic of Poland,...

5 January 2014

Daniel Weissbort RIP

A delay in putting up my new website makes this a little later than I would wish, but I'd like to mark the death of my good friend and fellow translator, Daniel Weissbort, in London on November...

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Praise for Michael Scammell

Koestler himself seems so alive he might leap off the page.

Anne Applebaum, The New York Review of Books

A terrific biography... every page is enthralling.

Michael Dirda, Washington Post

Superb biography.

Paul Berman, The New Republic

A prodigy of research in many languages.

Louis Menand, The New Yorker

Tremendous, absorbing.

Neal Ascherson, London Review of Books


John Carey, The Sunday Times (UK)


Paul Monk, The Australian


The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic

The Indispensable Intellectual


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