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Anne Applebaum

Anne Applebaum

Senior Fellow of International Affairs

Senior Fellow at the SNF Agora Institute


Anne Applebaum is a staff writer for The Atlantic and a Pulitzer-prize winning historian. She is also a senior fellow at the SNF Agora Institute and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where she co-directs Arena, a program on disinformation and 21st century propaganda.

A Washington Post columnist for 15 years and a former member of the editorial board, she has also worked as the foreign and deputy editor of the Spectator magazine in London, as the political editor of the Evening Standard, and as a columnist at Slate and at several British newspapers, including the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs. From 1988-1991 she covered the collapse of communism as the Warsaw correspondent of the Economist magazine and the Independent newspaper.

Her newest book, The Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism, explains why some of her contemporaries have abandoned liberal democratic ideals in favor of strongman cults, nationalist movements, or one-party states.

Her previous books include Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956, and Gulag: A History. Both Iron Curtain and Gulag: A History have appeared in more than two dozen translations, including all major European languages. Both books were National Book Award finalists.

Applebaum is also the co-author of a cookbook, From a Polish Country House Kitchen, and a recently re-published her travelogue, Between East and West: Across the Borderlands of Europe, which describes a journey across Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine made just before the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Over the years, her writing has also appeared in The New York Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune, Foreign Affairs, The New Criterion, The Weekly Standard, the New Republic, The National Review, The New Statesman, The Independent, The Guardian, Prospect, Commentaire, Die Welt, Cicero, Gazeta Wyborcza and The Times Literary Supplement, as well as in several anthologies.

She has also lectured at Yale, Harvard, and Columbia Universities, as well as Oxford, Cambridge, London, Belfast, Heidelberg, Maastricht, Zurich, Humboldt, Texas A&M, Houston, and many others. In 2012–13 she held the Phillipe Roman Chair of History and International Relations at the London School of Economics.

Anne Applebaum was born in Washington, D.C., in 1964. After graduating from Yale University, she was a Marshall Scholar at the LSE and St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Her husband, Radoslaw Sikorski, is a Polish politician and writer. They have two children, Alexander and Tadeusz.

In the News

Tucker Carlson is stirring up hatred of America.

Anne Applebaum wrote in The Atlantic, 11/02

The French intellectual who refuses to look away.

Anne Applebaum wrote in The Atlantic, 10/25

Liberal democracy is worth a fight.

Anne Applebaum wrote in The Atlantic, 08/20

Tucker Carlson’s self-loathing international tourism.

Anne Applebaum wrote in The Atlantic, 08/06

How MyPillow CEO's delusions endanger democracy.

Anne Applebaum interviewed on CNN, 08/01

The MyPillow guy really could destroy democracy.

Anne Applebaum wrote in The Atlantic, 07/29

Democracies don’t try to make everyone agree.

Anne Applebaum wrote in The Atlantic, 06/28

Great podversations.

Anne Applebaum interviewed on Kentucky Author Forum podcast, 06/21

Democracy is surprisingly easy to undermine.

Anne Applebaum wrote in The Atlantic, 06/17

The disturbing new hybrid of democracy and autocracy.

Anne Applebaum wrote in The Atlantic, 06/09