Anne Applebaum

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Anne Applebaum
Anne Elizabeth Applebaum.jpg
Born Anne Elizabeth Applebaum[1]
(1964-07-25) July 25, 1964 (age 55)[2]
Washington, D.C.
Nationality American, Polish
Education B.A. 1986 (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa)
MSc, 1987
Alma mater Yale University
London School of Economics
St. Antony's College, Oxford
Occupation Journalist
Known for Writings on former Soviet Union and its satellite countries
Home town Washington, D.C.
Spouse(s) Radosław Sikorski since June 27, 1992
Children Aleksander, Tadeusz
Website Anne Applebaum

Anne Elizabeth Applebaum (born July 25, 1964) is an American and Polish journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author who has written extensively about communism and the development of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe. She has been an editor at The Economist, and a member of the editorial board of The Washington Post (2002–2006).

Early life

Applebaum was born in Washington, D.C. Her parents are Harvey M. Applebaum, a partner in the Covington and Burling law firm, and Elizabeth (Bloom) Applebaum, of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. She has stated that she was brought up in a "very reformed" Jewish family.[4] She graduated from the Sidwell Friends School (1982). She earned a BA (summa cum laude) at Yale University (1986), where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. As a Marshall Scholar at the London School of Economics she earned a master's degree in international relations (1987).[5] She studied at St Antony's College, Oxford before moving to Warsaw, Poland in 1988 as a correspondent for The Economist.[6]


Applebaum was an editor at The Spectator, and a columnist for both The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph. She also wrote for The Independent. Working for The Economist, she provided coverage of important social and political transitions in Eastern Europe, both before and after the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In 1992, she was awarded the Charles Douglas-Home Memorial Trust Award.[7]

Applebaum lived in London and Warsaw during the 1990s and was, for several years, a columnist for London's Evening Standard newspaper. She wrote about both foreign and domestic policy issues.

Applebaum's first book, Between East and West, is a travelogue, and was awarded an Adolph Bentinck Prize in 1996.[8] Gulag: A History (2003), on the Soviet prison system, was awarded the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction writing.[8][9][10] Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944–56, was published in 2012 by Doubleday in the USA and Allen Lane in the UK; it was shortlisted for the 2013 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award.[11] Applebaum has also been a vocal critic of Communist regimes more broadly, commenting "Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, Ceausescu, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Salvador Allende, Mengistu, Castro, Kim Il-sung: the list of murderous communist leaders is long, diverse and profoundly multicultural."[12]

Applebaum is proficient in French, Polish[13] and Russian.[14]

On May 24, 2006, she wrote that she was leaving Washington to live again in Poland.[15]

Applebaum was a George Herbert Walker Bush/Axel Springer Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany, in 2006.[16] Applebaum was also an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank.[17]

In a blog posting in September 2009, Applebaum condemned the 2009 arrest of Roman Polanski.[18][19] Critics claimed that she minimized Polanski's crimes and did not disclose that her husband was seeking his release.[20][21][22][23][24] She responded in a second blog post that she had previously disclosed her husband's job, was not a spokesman for him, and "had no idea that the Polish government would or could lobby for Polanski's release".[19]

In February 2008, she was awarded the Estonian Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, third class.[25] In 2010, she was given the Hungarian Petőfi Prize in Budapest's House of Terror Museum.[26]

In the 2012–2013 academic year, she was the LSE IDEAS Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

2014 Crimean crisis

On February 21, 2014, Applebaum wrote in the Daily Telegraph, documenting the breakdown in law and order in Ukraine over the previous fortnight. She concluded that it "is not a war, or even a conflict which either side can win with weapons. It will have to be solved through negotiations, elections, political debate; by civic organisations, political parties and political leaders, both charismatic and otherwise; with the participation of other European states and Ukraine's other neighbours."[27]

Applebaum has been a vocal critic of Western conduct regarding the 2014 Crimean crisis. In an article in the Washington Post on March 5, she maintained that the US and its allies should not continue to enable "the existence of a corrupt Russian regime that is destabilizing Europe," asserting that the actions of Putin had violated "a series of international treaties."[28]

On March 7, in another article in the Telegraph discussing an information war, Applebaum argued that "a robust campaign to tell the truth about Crimea is needed to counter Moscow's lies."[29] At the end of August she asked whether Ukraine should prepare for "total war" with Russia and whether central Europeans should join them.[30]


Applebaum is a member of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting's International Board of Directors.[31]

Personal life

Applebaum married former Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski in 1992. They have two sons: Aleksander and Tadeusz.[32]

Applebaum became a Polish citizen in 2013.[33]

Awards and honors

Published works


  1. "WEDDINGS; Anne Applebaum, Radek Sikorski". The New York Times. June 28, 1992.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Petrone, Justine. "Interview with Anne Applebaum". City Paper. BALTIC NEWS LTD. Retrieved 2009-10-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Anne Applebaum". Contemporary Authors Online (updated November 30, 2005. ed.). Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale. 2008 [2006]. H1000119613. Archived from the original on April 12, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Reproduced in Biography Resource Center.
  5. "Anne E. Applebaum to Wed in June". The New York Times. December 8, 1991. Retrieved 2008-04-23. ... is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Anne Applebaum". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-10-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Anne Applebaum biography". The Washington Post Company. Retrieved January 28, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 "From concentration camps to cotton". Idaho Mountain express and guide. Express publishing inc. March 25, 2005. Retrieved 2009-10-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "'The Known World' Wins Pulitzer Prize for Fiction". The New York Times. April 5, 2004.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "The 2004 Pulitzer Prize Winners General Nonfiction". Archived from the original on October 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Applebaum, Anne (2 July 2003). "Why the reds flagged". The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Video of interview with Anne Applebaum, in Polish, streaming video available from TVN [1]
  14. Video on YouTube
  15. So Long, Washington (for Now) by Anne Applebaum, The Washington Post, 2006-05-24. Retrieved 2008-04-23
  16. "Participants of the International Bertelsmann Forum 2006". Retrieved January 28, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Leonard, Brooke (May 8, 2008). "Turning Abkhazia into a War". National Interest. New York City. Archived from the original on January 13, 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Anne Applebaum, September 27, 2009, The Outrageous Arrest of Roman Polanski. Retrieved on 2009-10-06.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Anne Applebaum, September 29, 2009, Reaction to Roman Polanski. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
  20. Glenn Greenwald "Post editors should read their own columnists"., October 1, 2009. Retrieved on October 6, 2009.
  21. Katha Pollitt wrote that Applebaum "overlooks the true nature of the crime (drugs, forced anal sex, etc)". Katha Pollitt, "What's with these friends of a rapist?". Chicago Tribune, October 2, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2009
  22. Ron Radosh, "Can We Still Trust Anne Applebaum? Her Irrational Defense of Polanski". Pajamas Media, October 2, 2009. Retrieved on October 6, 2006
  23. Jillian York, The Huffington Post', October 1, 2009, Anne Applebaum, Child Rape Apologist?. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
  24. Kate Harding, September 28, 2009,, Reminder: Roman Polanski Raped a Child. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
  25. President Ilves participated in the celebration of Poland's 90th anniversary, Office of the president of Estonia, November 11, 2008<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Anne Applebaum Receives Petőfi Prize". US Embassy,Budapest, Hungary. December 14, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "The pictures from Kiev don't tell the whole story" 21 Feb 2014
  28. "Russia's Western enablers" March 5, 2014
  29. "Russia’s information warriors are on the march – we must respond" 7 Mar 2014
  30. Applebaum, Anne (29 August 2014). "War in Europe". Slate. Retrieved 1 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "". Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Retrieved 18 June 2015. External link in |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. April 23, 2008. Archived from the original on April 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-23. Radosław Sikorski is married to journalist and writer Anne Sikorska, who won the 2004 Pulitzer prize for her book "Gulag: A History". They have two sons: Aleksander and Tadeusz.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "Anne Applebaum. Żona Radosława Sikorskiego to dziś jedna z najbardziej wpływowych Polek". Times of Polska. 2013-08-31. Retrieved 2013-08-31. Anne Applebaum jest już pełnoprawną Polką.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "The Pulitzer Prizes General Nonfiction". Pulitzer Prize. Retrieved November 28, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. "National Book Award Finalists Announced Today". Library Journal. October 10, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. Press Release (21 November 2013). "Ann Applebaum wins 2013 Cundill Prize". McGill University. Retrieved 24 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

External links