Please join us for an evening with leading BBC correspondent and writer Bridget Kendall and former UK Ambassador to Russia historian Rodric Braithwaite, discussing Kendall's new book - The Cold War: A New Oral History of Life Between East and West.
Bridget Kendall MBE is a long-standing and distinguished BBC Correspondent. Bridget was appointed the first female Master of Peterhouse, the University of Cambridge’s oldest College, in 2016. Educated at Oxford, Harvard and two Russian universities, she joined the BBC World Service as a trainee in 1983 and became the BBC's Moscow correspondent between 1989 and 1994, covering the collapse of the Soviet Union as well as Boris Yeltsin’s rise to power. She was then appointed Washington Correspondent before moving to the senior role of BBC Diplomatic Correspondent, reporting on major conflicts such as those in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Georgia and Ukraine.
Since she became Master of a Cambridge College she has stepped back from her role as a staff BBC correspondent, but she remains a regular broadcaster and commentator on Russia and is the main host of BBC radio’s weekly flagship discussion programme, The Forum. She is a recognised authority on Russia and East West relations and has given many lectures on the subject. Her interviews with global leaders include Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin.
Her book, just out in paperback, The Cold War; a New Oral History explores the decades long conflict between East and West through the eyes of those who, like her, experienced it at first-hand, from pilots making food drops during the Berlin Blockade and families fleeing the Korean War, to young Soviet soldiers sent to fight in Afghanistan.
Her awards include the James Cameron Award for distinguished journalism, as well as an MBE. She is an Honorary Fellow of two Oxford Colleges, Lady Margaret Hall and St Antony’s College, and has Honorary degrees from St Andrew’s University in Scotland, the University of York, the University of Exeter and the University of Birmingham in Central England.
Rodric Braithwaite was born in London in 1932, when his father Warwick was a conductor at Sadler’s Wells Opera. Educated at Bedales, he served as a sergeant in military intelligence in Vienna, and studied French and Russian at Cambridge. He joined the Diplomatic Service in 1955 and had postings in Jakarta, Warsaw, Moscow, Rome, Brussels (EU) and Washington. He was on the Sherpa team for the G7 Summits (1984-8), ambassador in Moscow (1988-1992), and Foreign Policy Adviser to Prime Minister Major and Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (1992-3). Since 1994, he has been among other things a Governor of the English National Opera, Chairman of the Royal Academy of Music, and Senior Adviser to Deutsche Bank. He was a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford (1972-3) and at the Wilson Center in Washington (2005).
He has published ”Across the Moscow River” (2002); “Moscow 1941: A City and its People at War” (2006); “Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-1989” (2011); “Coming of Age in Warsaw: A Cold War Story” (published privately in 2014); and "Armageddon and Paranoia: The Nuclear Confrontation", featured on the shortlist for the Pushkin House Book Prize 2018. He is currently writing about Russia’s tangled relations with the outside world over the last thousand years.