Dr Martin McCauley discusses Soviet Union and Chinese political history with Bedales Green Ribbon Club

Dr Martin McCauley is a very distinguished Historian. A Senior Lecturer in Soviet and East European History at London University’s School of East European and Slavonic Studies, he is the author of many books, particularly on Russian History ( ‘Stalin and Stalinisim’ and a biography of Khrushchev for the ‘Makers of the Twentieth Century’ series, the editor of OCR ‘s A level book of documents for The Russian Special Subject  to name but a few). He is also a member of the Limehouse group of analysts – a body of experts on foreign policy. Here Martin has expertise on Terrorism and has written a book on Afghanistan. He spoke to the Green Ribbon Club ( The Sixth Form History Society) on Thursday for 45 minutes (without any notes) on the theme “ From Marxism to Communism : The Soviet Union and China. “ He gave a lucid and compelling view of the development of The Soviet Union and its departure from pure Marxism and the parallel development of China, examining why the Soviet Union collapsed and China did not ( the reason : China’s economic reform which Martin McCauley suggested might be a model for reform for the rest of the world.) He thought that whilst America might remain the most powerful nation for the twentieth first century, thereafter the future might lie with China. His talk was illuminated with astonishing statistics and wonderful anecdotes ( who, for instance, knows that when the Berlin Wall came down, the two things that East Berliners were most keen to obtain were bananas and pornography !). This talk was a privilege and a rare treat for the full audience, invaluable for A level Historians and thought provoking and enriching for the non- Historians .

By Jonathan Selby, Head of History, Bedales


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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