Robert Conquest was born in Malvern, Worcestershire, UK, in 1917, to an American father and his English wife. Educated at Winchester College, the University of Grenoble, and Magdalen College, Oxford, he took his BA and (later) MA degrees in politics, philosophy, and economics, and his D. Litt. in Soviet history. He was the author of twenty-one books on Soviet history, political philosophy, and international affairs, the most recent being The Dragons of Expectation (2004). His classic, The Great Terror, has appeared in most European languages, as well as in Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew and Turkish. Conquest was a Fellow of the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Literature, and the British Interplanetary Society; he was also a member of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies (contributing to Britannia an article on the Roman Place Names of Scotland). His honours and awards included the Presidential Medal of Freedom; the Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George; the Order of the British Empire; the Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland; the Ukrainian Order of Yaroslav Mudryi; the Estonian Cross of Terra Mariana Order of Merit; the Jefferson Lectureship; the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Michael Braude Award for Light Verse; the Richard Weaver Award for Scholarly Letters; the Fondazione Liberal Career Award; and the Dan David Prize. He lived with his wife Elizabeth in California, where he worked as a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He died in 2015, aged 98.