Talk:Robert Conquest

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Notes for expansion of article[edit]

A 1979 collection of essays by Conquest, The Abomination of Moab is mentioned here. [1] Seems to be at least partially about art criticism, thus not appropriate for listing in the existing bibliography in our article, labelled "Historical works".
Article also mentions that Conquest "also doubles as a poet and literary critic", two aspects of hs career not mentioned in our article as far as I can tell.
-- Writtenonsand (talk) 19:55, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Needs cleanup for neutrality and weasel problems[edit]

Article needs cleanup to remove formulations such as

  • "That a known Communist should have been allowed to join the intelligence service seems extraordinary in retrospect"
  • "the Army seems to have taken the view that"
  • "Conquest's time with the IRD has sparked some controversy, becoming a favorite topic of many critics"
  • "Generally, these assertions are viewed with skepticism by other historians"
  • "The most important aspect of the book was ..."
  • "Some communists continue to deny the claims made in The Great Terror ..."
  • "In an attempt to discredit Conquest's work, communist writers accuse him of relying on 'Nazi collaborators, émigrés, and the CIA'"
  • "Conquest's most recent works ... may be seen as his summation of his career."

See WP:NPOV, WP:WEASEL -- Writtenonsand (talk) 20:16, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Hagiography not biography[edit]

This really is a terribly biased piece. Conquest has been widely criticised by historians (not, as this claims, simply by Communists) for - to name a few criticisms - adopting an ideological position towards the USSR that has coloured his conclusions beyond acceptability, for ignoring source material contradicting his arguments and for being too concerned with high politics. 87.127.137.165 (talk) 15:15, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

OK. As an exercise: who has made these criticisms? Where and when were they made? What, specifically, do they say? Sourced and notable criticism does belong in this article. Please bring some specific sources making the criticisms you mention, and propose text for how they should be incorporated. MastCell Talk 17:25, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough demands, but Wikipedia should really be setting the anon user a better another example here. The article is full of claims about what "most historians", or some variant of the phrase, think - which I suspect are not simply weasel-worded but are false. Kalkin (talk) 04:36, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Agreed that these should be cited and attributed, as should criticism. MastCell Talk 17:52, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree and removed some of the most contentious and completely unsourced garbage. Remember, this is a BLP. If someone wants to place this back, please provide reliable sources.Biophys (talk) 19:09, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Mark Tauger is the leading researcher on the causes of the famine of 1932-3 as having been plant rust. Tauger does thoroughly debunk Conquest's version of a "manmade famine" as something which Conquest portrayed as having been caused by grain exports amidst a purportedly plentiful crop. The famine was caused by actual crop failure, and then aggravated by the failure to understand this and to realize the need for massize imports of grain. The significance of those reduced exports which did take place is that they reflect the failure to realize the crisis, but they are not at all sufficient to account for the famine itself. It's also been established that Conquest and others frequently inflated the number of deaths in the famine by several million. A more detailed analysis of the famine toll in the Ukraine is given in POPULATION STUDIES, November 2002. Conquest and Mace had popularized a "seven million Ukrainians" number as a Cold War counterpart to "six million Jews" from WWII fame, but actual Ukrainian deaths are more like 2.5 million with a couple extra non-Ukrainians dying as well. Apart from the specifics of the famine of 1932-3, there is nothing to support the type of 10+ million numbers which Conquest throws around. Archibald Getty has done the most thorough analysis of the purges of the 1930s and estimates the total numbers of dead from either execution or labor camp deprivement as approximately 1.5 million over the whole decade of the 1930s. Getty & Naumov's (THE ROAD TO TERROR) scale is consistent with Khlevnuik's numbers (A HISTORY OF THE GULAG) in a book for which Conquest wrote the introduction. General demographic studies have been done and much of this data is published in Haynes & Husan, A CENTURY OF STATE MURDER? The overall picture of Soviet mortality figures which shows through in these statistics is woefully inconsistent with Conquest's claim of "20 million." Mortality in 1937 was well below what it had been at any time in the Czarist era. That doesn't make up for innocents killed in the purges, but one can't support claims such as "20 million" when the main demographic tables do not at all match with such claims. They show a broad tendency towards improvement of the peacetime conditions of the Soviet population, in spite of brutalities in the Gulag and Lubyanka. Conquest's "20 million" is pure fiction. Anyway, these are actual source references based on data taken straight from the Soviet archives. Anyone who wishes to examine the matter further can simply begin following these leads. Conquest is a lying hoaxer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.86.226.32 (talk) 14:17, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Some of these references are not very well sourced, some are excellent - certainly better than Conquest's figures. Certainly the Ukrainian death toll and its explanation are generally refuted among historians (partly because of the forged pictures in the book). Overall, it is an extremely apologetic article of a pretty lowly rated historian and highly rated propagandist.--Redjsteel (talk) 00:56, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
The fact that Holodomor was man-made was revealed even in Perestroika era Soviet sources. Leonid Kravchuk, then a communist functionary, came to the same conclusion around 1989 (read his quote here). Kravchuk specifically says he was considering drought as a reason but this was not consistent with facts. Lokalkosmopolit (talk) 20:59, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Ever since I rewrote this article years ago, people have been regularly asserting on this Talk page that Conquest's claims about both the Purges and the Collectivisation Famine have been disproved by various historians. Yet no sustainable changes to the article have been made, because no evidence to support this contention has been produced. If anyone can produce a sourced quotation from a reputable historian who asserts that Conquest was wrong on any significant point, let them do so, and of course it should go in the article. But mere assertions that Conquest was wrong won't do. Intelligent Mr Toad (talk) 07:34, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Article's reference to supposed corrections to Conquest's work is excessively vague[edit]

"After the opening up of the Soviet archives in 1991, detailed, unedited information has been released that contest Conquest's claims heavily."

Sorry, folks, this is just too vague, even if accompanied by a couple of references. What is he supposed to have got wrong, and what is the evidence suggesting that he did so? (The paragraph that follows in the article does not address these issues, being about alternative interpretations of how Stalin's crimes relate to Lenin and so on). Nandt1 (talk) 13:40, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. Removed.Biophys (talk) 21:18, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Conquest's Laws of Politics?[edit]

Nothing about Conquest's Laws of Politics? What a huge omission. 75.72.44.227 (talk) 15:32, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Some googling shows a lot of confusion about the law or laws. The Three Laws of Politics appear to be these:

1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.

alternatively:

1. Everyone is a reactionary about subjects he understands.

and:

2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left wing.
3. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

I can find a number of references to these online. But I cannot find any authoritative citation to where they are from. The first appears to be Conquest's, and coined first, perhaps in response to critics of The Great Terror. It seems that John O'Sullivan may have coined the second law. And the third seems to be Conquest's, but coined much after the first, perhaps in Reflections on a Ravaged Century.
Leonard (talk) 18:55, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I have just Wikified the section External links. From the formatting, these look to have been cut & pasted from somewhere else. Unfortunately the links were not copied (except for a couple), resulting in a bunch of External links with no links. I have left each entry in the hope that another editor will guess from where they were cut & pasted, and add in the links. The alternative is to delete those with no links. HairyWombat 01:36, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

They were cut-and-pasted from an old version of the article after they were accidentally deleted - here. I've restored the old section. Shimgray | talk | 06:43, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

That looks a lot better. However, there are too many. Things like his biog at Hoover, and profiles at Stanford and Sparticus belong as <ref>s, not external links, but I will leave it to somebody else to clean this up. (I have no particular interest in this topic.) HairyWombat 19:17, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

Here is text in question. Please quote the source (which appears in the end of text) to show that it actually supports assertions made in the text. Thanks, My very best wishes (talk) 21:09, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Here: This data convinced Robert Conquest that the thesis about a genocidal famine must have been wrong.[2] -YMB29 (talk) 21:16, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Here we are talking about retraction. This is serious matter. The retractions are openly done by author by publishing in a widely accessible source. To my knowledge, Robert Conquest never done this with respect to Soviet terror-famine (if you could provide ref to his own official retraction, that would be a proof that retraction was made. This book refers to unpublished letter. Therefore, I think this should be removed, especially in a BLP. My very best wishes (talk) 21:42, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
This retraction is good enough. If the authors published a private letter without Conquest's permission, he could of sued them.
Anyway, the source cited clearly says that he dismissed his own view, so your opinion on whether this is true or not does not matter since we go by what the sources says. -YMB29 (talk) 23:21, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Regarding the paragraph eliminated by MastCell: 18:27, 16 September 2015‎ MastCell (talk | contribs)‎ . . (28,718 bytes) (-1,654)‎ . . (→‎The Great Terror: sorry, no - the reference does not support your text; the fact that one historian from a rival school of thought disagrees with conquest does not mean that his work is categorically considered invalid by "scientific" historians (sic) I understand what you are pointing out, I should find references that back up my text: "in the field of scientific historical reasearch Conquest's work is now considered outdated and obsolete and no longer cited in the most important works of the last years about USSR history as it was before", I then will be able to re-add the paragraph. Beside that I can tell you that what I wrote is right: in the greatest majority of the works of the last 3 decades Conquest's work is no longer cited as a reliable source on actual facts, he is cited solely about historiography on USSR, but of course I cannot make a list of works of different historians' works which back up what I wrote as a source/reference, citing their bibliography missing Conquest's book as an example. And I guess it's useful to say that most of these historians are not rampage communist, instead are all quite anti-USSR and only give more accurate numbers and reports on what happened in those years with actual archival sources and on. Moreover Hobsbawm is considered one of the greatest historians of the last century, and nobody in universities around the world will put in doubt his scientifical approach and consider his political beliefs as a reason to disprove his work (unless for political reasons of course, which are anyway alien to serious historical reasearch and history in general). That's why in turn, to label him simply as a "rival" of a different school (which is not, we are not talking about an exponent of the so-called 'Revisionist school' on USSR historiography which born in the '80s) is what really look ludicrous and it appears to be written really only for political reason (which again, are extraneous to serious historical research). Here is what most people (which, of course, are not historians) don't understand: there is a difference between 'scientifical' and 'popular' history. Hobsbawm belong to the former, while Conquest belong to the latter field, and in the academic environment this is well known (which of course does not make his works unusable, again on a history about USSR historiography or about "cultural Cold War" would be greatly useful). Maybe should be remembered that while Hobsbawm books are adopted as text course by Contemporary History university professors all around the world (again, for their undisputed scientifical approach) not the same can be said for Robert Conquest's books, and moreover should be remembered that Hobsbawm does not disagree at all with Conquest. As written by him in the paragraph now cancelled: "pratically all the life of the USSR much was inaccessible,hidden [...] behind barricades of official lies and half-truths" and "Conquest will be read as a remarkable pioneer effort to assess the Stalin Terror" . Are these statement making Hobsbawm an opponent of Conquest? Is Hobsbawm denying what happened in USSR during those years? Is Hobsbawm denying the "Stalin Terror"? No, simply Hobsbawm is saying that because archival sources were not available, Conquest's work could be only based on fragmentary sources and guesswork (which it is, everybody reading it can see it) then, beside his pioneer effort, from now on, historians will have available better and more complete data and 'The Great Terror' will drop out of sight, which in fact is what happened. So for the moment, for luck of references to cite, I will put what written by Hobsbawm in the section criticism on the page 'The Great Terror', hoping that most of the wiki users will understand the difference between politics and history. (Flushout1999 (talk) 19:53, 16 September 2015 (UTC))

American ?[edit]

Did Conquest ever obtain American citizenship? Is it correct to describe him as American? --Racklever (talk) 07:14, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

He seems to have been born and raised in England but his father was a gringo. Not sure what that makes him. OrganicEarth (talk) 17:31, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
Well the question is, did he have American citizenship? --81.157.182.65 (talk) 22:20, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

Parents[edit]

Here's a wedding announcement for his parents: link. OrganicEarth (talk) 17:25, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

POV and Call for Revision: October 9, 2015[edit]

Negative Point of View

This article seems to have a decidedly negative point of view (POV).

Examples:

  • "Obession": lead sentence to Paragraph 2
    • Non-sequitur: It does not fit following two sentences and is clearly an add-on.
    • Biased source: It states: "The Soviet Union was Conquest's lifetime obsession.[1]" The reference cites American journalist Jeff Coplon, who wiki entry states: "In a controversial 1988 article in The Village Voice, Coplon analyzed the scholarship surrounding the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s, and argued that allegations by "mainstream academics", including Sovietologist Robert Conquest, of genocide against the Soviet Union were historically dubious and politically motivated as part of a campaign by the Ukrainian nationalist community. In a letter to the editors, Robert Conquest dismissed the article as "error and absurdity."
    • Biased rationale: Lifetime expertise does not constitute obsession.
    • Remedy: A more neutral observation could start by noting something like "Conquest spent the majority of his 98 years in the study of Bolshevik Communism..."
  • "Not merely": lead sentence in Paragraph 3
    • Overstated: Conquest was not merely an “anti-Stalinist,” but an anti-Communist, period: in Russia, in Vietnam, in Europe, in the Caribbean — everywhere." While no numbers or research comes to mind that readily supports the following statement, it seems typical that an anti-Stalinist also but an anti-Communist and also anti-Liberal -- thus, this sounds overstated.
    • Remedy: Tone down lead sentence to read: "Conquest was an anti-Stalinist and anti-Communist."
  • "Mental addiction" final sentence in Paragraph 3
    • Overstated: He also called Marxism a “misleading mental addiction”.[6]
    • Remedy: Demote by keeping but within parenthesese
  • "Anti-Sovietchik number one": Paragraph 4
    • Overstated: while an interesting note (which no doubt the anti-Stalinist, anti-Communist Coquest would have relished), this is more of an historical note that should appear below in terms of either Conquest's impact or legacy.
    • Remedy: Create "legacy" sub-section below and add this paragraph.

General Review:

It seems at least one person with fairly strong antipathy toward Conquest has recently been seeding this entry with negative comments. The entry now needs revision and restructuring.

It also needs better writing than starting any sentence like this: "Anyway, in 1996, Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, who have been previously attacked by Conquest for his book Age of Extremes,[31] while praising Conquest's The Great Terror "as a remarkable pioneer effort to assess the Stalin Terror", expressed the opinion that this work and others were now to be considered obsolete "simply because the archival sources are now available", thus there was not need any more for "using fragmentary sources" and "guesswork" as "when better or more complete data are available, they must take the place of poor and incomplete ones"... Too long, and who starts any sentence in an encyclopedic article with the colloquial "anyway"?

Conclusion Conquest may have been an historian with strong opinions and decidedly "edgy" (and sometimes outright vulgar and prejudiced) poetry. Nevertheless, contributors need to add factual claims, not viewpoints, and make statements with relative neutrality and with credible citations.

Respectfully --Aboudaqn (talk) 22:55, 9 October 2015 (UTC)


Now paragraphs at the beginning clearly state who are the authors of the quoted sentences: one is Coplon who does not support Conquest, one is an article on National Review which is strongly supportive of Conquest, then we have quotes by Conquest and more supportive citations praising Conquest. I'm sorry but, where is all this negativity about Conquest at the article's beginning? Would it be more correct to use exclusively sources which are positive on Conquest? Then the article would have become a piece of agiography! (And only Coplon at the beginning of the article is negative on Conquest! It's only one sentence!) I thought was better to keep balance and also add Coplon.

Second, all paragraphs I'm adding, they have all a reliable source, which is clearly referenced and everybody can check them: Telegraph, Guardian, National Review, Los Angel Times, NY Times, Conquest's books, scholars' articles, other historians' books on the same topics (which directly involved and cited Conquest's work, otherwise there is no point to cite them, would become OR). Are these not "credible" sources?

Most of the newspapers articles contains actual quotes by Conquest himself, which are now correctly reported in this article with quotation marks, as they are actually sentences pronounced by Conquest himself during his life. These quotes are Conquest's quotes, they are facts of his life, not opinions.

Also, for what reason Coplon should be considered a biased source? Only because there was a controversy on his most famous article? Then, following this path, all of the Conquest's production could be regarded as biased as all of his books went highly controversial in the academical and political field.

So here it is, as users we have to write a balanced point of view on whatever this man did in his life, so we have to write both negative and positive anecdotes and episodes, positive and negative on what he did and thought, positive and negative about his legacy and work. We cannot pickup only what we think is more suitable to our prejudices, this is why I am using all available (and reliable) sources from the net and on paper.

Problem is: virtually nothing of Conquest's works and actions was quite balanced, here is why article does not seem neutral. But if even the most supportive fans call him "an anti-communist, period - everywhere", if he was the one to say "USSR was the problem of humanity", Marxism was a "mental addiction", Russian are "martians", if he was the one to write books to advise Americans of the "Russian danger", what should we do about it? Hide our head under the sand, because that seems not "neutral"? That's what he was doing, those are facts, not opinions, they were, in fact, his opinions! All of these opinions were part of his work (as remembered by all his friend and collaborators, again, everybody can check the sources cited in the article) and life, and they need to be cited in an article that is his biography.

The real fact here is that Conquest, on the political and historical field, never wanted to look neutral. For example he said with pride he was a "Cold Warrior". To not state correctly his real thoughts in the wiki article, would be in fact to betray the person he was in life, whether one could agree or not with his political beliefs. Probably I could use less quotation marks but I prefer to stick up to the original source most that I can, just cause I believe original quote must not be betrayed in sense and meaning.

Respectfully --(Flushout1999 (talk) 15:43, 14 October 2015 (UTC))

I think the original poster is on to something, and it's not all that subtle. Flushout1999 is clearly here with an agenda: to discredit Conquest and his work. That's clear from the cherry-picking of sources, the presentation of rival historians' arguments as if they were gospel, and the editorial language that Flushout1999 inserts into the article. Flushout1999 is assembling a case against Conquest, rather than writing anything that looks remotely like an encyclopedia article. It's textbook tendentious editing, but given how poorly Wikipedia is set up to deal with such editing, I don't feel motivated to sink the time and effort needed to deal with it. MastCell Talk 22:57, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Please read Wikipedia:NPOV dispute before to assume things:

Please remember to assume good faith. Politely point out the perceived problem

If you accuse me of having an agenda then I could say the same about you: You previously made me cancel an entire paragraph saying was only Hobsbawmn's opinion that Conquest's The Great Terror was outdated and not totally reliable, then I found out that Conquest himself lamented this about his work and that he wished to rewrite it totally. Instead to doublecheck (as I did) you started to accuse me of writing something that was "opinion" but that indeed it is now revealed as a fact, as stated by Conquest himself. Did you wanted everybody think that Conquest's work was still up-to-date even if he recognized himself to not have used archival sources at all, so that he regret to not have re-written all the book? Why? (Of course I don't think this is the case. I am just coming up with a paradox to make you understand how much is weird what you are claiming against me. I am just an enthusiast on Cold War History and I read really tens of books and articles on it).
In the past, in this very page, you wrote: "Sourced and notable criticism does belong in this article." "these should be cited and attributed, as should criticism". Now that these are starting to be correctly cited in the article, you disagree with what you wrote previously and start to accuse the others of having an agenda??
Please all, check the references, read the Conquest's books cited, and see by yourself if everything is correctly cited or not! All the contents are based on reliable sources and they stick-up in content and meaning to the original sense and meaning. Conquest was, in fact, a Cold warrior, more than he was an historian or a poet, and he is widely internationally remembered as this, whether one approves or not, whether one agrees or not with his ideas, whether you think this is neutral or not. This is not assembling a case against Conquest, this is aknowledging what Conquest was, and he himself was very proud of what he did and was.
I have my ideas on his historical work, because scientific (not 'sic': you don't say 'scientifical' research and history is a science when not written only with the purpose to be a rhetorical art) historical research went a lot ahead in the field of Sovietology from the '80s on, but in any case Conquest and his work is a piece of History in itself and it's really sad to see how people can refuse to see a man for what he estimated most of himself: being a Cold Warrior.
I'm sorry to say that, but somebody as to read better this: Wikipedia:Tendentious editing#One who accuses others of malice and Wikipedia:Tendentious editing#One who disputes the reliability of apparently good sources.

Respectfully --(Flushout1999 (talk) 01:34, 15 October 2015 (UTC))

Beyond the infrequent but absurdly blatant unsourced personal commentary, Flushout1999's larger sin is one of large-scale copyright violations.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 03:59, 18 October 2015 (UTC)



Hello all, I re-added all the text that was unjustifiably deleted as it is well sourced with reliable and verifiable sources, I also add more reliable sources to back-up what was already inserted. Please before to delete the others' edits with no reason (or on false reasons: the sources are reliable, anybody can check them) or worse, before to start personal attacks, let's discuss about what in your opinion should be written in a different way and why or how. Discussion as to be first of all respectful, polite and collaborative, as reported in the Wiki guide pages.
Here some point I would like to take after have read some of these pages:
Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/FAQ#Lack of neutrality as an excuse to delete

It is a frequent misunderstanding of the NPOV policy, often expressed by newbies, visitors, and outside critics, that articles must not contain any form of bias, hence their efforts to remove statements they perceive as biased. The NPOV policy does forbid the inclusion of editorial bias, but does not forbid properly sourced bias. Without the inclusion and documentation of bias in the real world, many of our articles would fail to document the sum total of human knowledge, and would be rather "blah" reading, devoid of much meaningful and interesting content.

Thus what in one's opinion can be perceived as bias can appear in a wikipedia article if well sourced.
In Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/FAQ#Assert facts.2C not opinions:

The text of Wikipedia articles should assert facts, but not assert opinions as fact.

[...]When a statement is an opinion (e.g. a matter which is subject to serious dispute or commonly considered to be subjective), it should be attributed in the text to the person or group who holds the opinion. Thus we might write: "John Doe's baseball skills have been praised by baseball insiders such as Al Kaline and Joe Torre.[1]". We do not write: "John Doe is the best baseball player". The inclusion of opinions is subject to weight policy, and they should be backed up with an inline citation to a reliable source that verifies both the opinion and who holds it.
Thus, writing sentences like: "According to..." and then, use quote-unquote marks, with inline citation (as I did), is allowed and correct.
About the controversial facts reported in the article:
Biographies of living persons#Challenged or likely to be challenged

Challenged or likely to be challenged

Wikipedia's sourcing policy, Verifiability, says that all quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation; material not meeting this standard may be removed. [...] This applies whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable, and whether it is in a biography or in some other article.
Again, all sources are verifiable and reliable, so the edits should not be deleted, of course we can discuss on how to write the article in a better way, but if a fact is well sourced then it's a fact. You cannot decide by yourself what is a fact or not, and then impose your decision to the other contributors!
If you think the text is too similar to the original source (sorry my bad, english is not my mother tongue) the solution is to write the sentences with your own words, or to call the user who made the edit to change the sentence in a better way, not to cancel the edit made by others! But again, this is why i prefer to make citations with quote-unquote marks, as those are allowed in wikipedia, thus there is no copyright issue!
Again, check what is a reliable source in wikipedia Wikipedia:No_original_research#Reliable_sources:

In general, the most reliable sources are:

Peer-reviewed journals
Books published by university presses
University-level textbooks
Magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses
Mainstream newspapers
You accused me of tendious editing, here is what I found in Wikipedia:Disruptive editing#Examples of disruptive editing:

A disruptive editor is an editor who exhibits tendencies such as the following:

[...] some tendentious editors engage in disruptive deletions as well. An example is repeated deletion of reliable sources posted by other editors.
If you don't agree with what reliable sources say about a topic, it does not mean that a 'tendious editing' is ongoing. I wrote in the article both "good" and "bad", also I used extensively sources favorable to Robert Conquest but without including the agiographical attitude present in them, that is in fact a way to achieve neutrality.
About the NPOV issue, here is what Wikipedia states (Wikipedia:Neutral point of view):

Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, [...]

So all significant viewpoints have to be reported, if you don't agree with them does not mean everybody as to disagree as you do. Let the readers read all the viewpoints (in a well balanced article), and let them decide by themselves!
Other point, again, please stop making personal attacks, and discuss politely with me: writing about "sin", "having an agenda", that I am "onto something", I am using "not credible" sources (while all the sources are reliable sources such as the ones listed above, and many of them are from friends, collegues and people sympathetic to Robert Conquest), that I am "assembling a case against", labeling some of my edits as "absurdly blatant unsourced", doing this only because you dislike my edits, does not help anybody in having a better article here on Wikipedia.
Here: Wikipedia:No_personal_attacks#Removal_of_personal_attacks

Do not make personal attacks anywhere in Wikipedia. Comment on content, not on the contributor. Personal attacks harm the Wikipedia community, and the collegial atmosphere needed to create a good encyclopedia. Derogatory comments about other editors may be removed by any editor.

Regarding this, please read also: Wikipedia:Etiquette#Principles of Wikipedia etiquette.
Regarding the massive unjustified deletions from TheTimesAreAChanging, he says, for example:

RV nothing original in this section. When you are copying and pasting Samuelson's opinions about what figures are "realistic", you cannot omit quotations and repeat what he says in Wikipedia's neutral voice

??? Actually Samuelson does not give any "figures" in the parts that were canceled. I really don't know what you are talking about, there are no numbers or estimates made by Samuelson in the sentences you previously canceled. Actually you canceled also a quotation from historian Bollinger Martin contained in his book "Stalin's Slave Ships: Kolyma, the Gulag Fleet, and the Role of the West". Are you sure you read well what you were deleting?
In addition, you are admitting that I am using a "neutral voice" while user Aboudaqn was saying that the article was not neutral, that there was "strong antipathy toward Conquest", so I see a contradiction here, but also I see there is a will to destroy my edits on false grounds.
I see also that the "pots" issue during the coronation of George VI was cancelled for no reason. I added now two new reliable sources: The Times (UK) and The Hoover Institution, so now everybody can see that this is a fact really happened and also much appreciated in memoirs by his friends and collegues.
About Eastland, I really did not know that writing a sub-section about a pamphlet published by the US government, linking the pdf of the pamphlet, could be considered "unsourced"!
All is very well sourced (probably this is why a copy-paste issue has been raised, only in order to find an excuse to cancel my edits, whatever it is) therefore I re-established the article in its integrity and I am continuing to add new contributions continuing what wikipedia calls "being bold", and really we should go under the BRD Cycle:

How to proceed:

Discover the Very Interested Persons (VIP), and reach a compromise/consensus with each, one by one.
BE BOLD, and make what you currently believe to be the optimal changes based on your best effort. Your change might involve re-writing, rearranging, adding or removing information.
Wait until someone reverts your edit. You have now discovered a VIP.
Discuss the changes you would like to make with this VIP, perhaps using other forms of ::::Wikipedia dispute resolution as needed, and reach a consensus. Apply the consensus. When reverts have stopped and parties all agree, you are done.
So perhaps we could discuss politely and constructively, instead there are continuous personal attacks.
Also please note:

BRD is not a valid excuse for reverting good-faith efforts to improve a page simply because you don't like the changes. [...] BRD is not an excuse to revert any change more than once. If your reversion is met with another bold effort, then you should consider not reverting, but discussing. The talk page is open to all editors, not just bold ones.

Below is why I put back all the text deleted and not only inserted the new "bold edit":

Revert

Before reverting, 'first consider whether the original text could have been better improved in a different way or if part of the edit can be fixed to preserve some of the edit [...] if you find yourself making reversions or near-reversions, then stop editing and move to the next stage, "Discuss".
In the edit summary of your revert, briefly explain why you reverted and (possibly with a link to WP:BRD) encourage the bold editor to start a discussion on the article talk page if he or she wants to learn more about why you reverted. [...] Otherwise, a revert can seem brusque.
If you revert twice, then you are no longer following the BRD cycle: If your reversion is reverted, then there may be a good reason for it. Go to the talk page to learn why you were reverted.
So wikipedia, under these rules, only permit one revert at time, meaning you can revert only one paragraph for example, and then we have to discuss about this single paragraph in the talk page until reaching consensus. Also I see that nobody has tried to improve the article, I see only unjustified deletions, while nobody is willing to discuss in a positive and constructive way about the previous edits.
Because of this, I have reported TheTimesAreAChanging behaviour to the Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Edit warring but it looks like his deletions only count as one revert, but of course I'll notify again a 3RR if it happens.
Wikipedia:REVERT:

[...] reverting good-faith actions of other editors may also be disruptive and can even lead to the reverter being temporarily blocked from editing. Read the three-revert rule (part of the Edit warring policy).

From Wikipedia:3RR:

The three-revert rule states:

An editor must not perform more than three reverts on a single page—whether involving the same or different material—within a 24-hour period. An edit or a series of consecutive edits that undoes other editors' actions—whether in whole or in part—counts as a revert. Violations of the rule normally attract blocks of at least 24 hours. Fourth reverts just outside the 24-hour period may also be taken as evidence of edit-warring, especially if repeated or combined with other edit-warring behavior.
Also check Wikipedia:Revert only when necessary#Unacceptable reversions:

Reversion is not a proper tool for punishing an editor or retaliating or exacting vengeance. No edit, reversion or not, should be made for the purpose of teaching another editor a lesson or keeping an editor from enjoying the fruits of his crimes.

So please now stop the reverts and let's discuss and not make edit warring and, please, stop the personal attacks! If you think you can write it better, just do it, do not delete.
As a gesture of goodwill I have dropped the "obsession" opinion of Coplon and the "implying...was a good thing" cited by TheTimesAreAChanging in one of his summaries, also now the article's lead is as left by the TheTimesAreAChanging, and I put its content in more appropriate sections. Now I hope you will show the same goodwill towards me, because I am really tired to write 10-pages-answers in order to get things working.

Respectfully - (Flushout1999 (talk) 01:11, 19 October 2015 (UTC))

Hello, I made substunctial corrections to the article in order to avoid/resolve Copyvio. I used the Copyvio Detector and I re-wrote the parts highlighted in the tool which were not in-text quotations. All the other quotations should now comply with the Wikipedia:Plagiarism#Avoiding plagiarism guidelines. If you think this is not the case for some paragraph, feel free to notify me here and I'll rewrite the paragraph. If you think the article looks unbalanced, then add more sourced edits, don't delete mine.

Cheers - Flushout1999 (talk) 13:32, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

Why don't you just let us know when you're done with the hatchet job, and then the rest of us can work on fixing everything and making it encyclopedic again? MastCell Talk 16:59, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
No problem MastCell, but I have to inform you that my job on the article probably will never be done. Page is on my watchlist and there it will stay forever. Learn how to live with it. Meantime define what is "encyclopedic" by your own personal (perhaps tendentious?) POV. Nobody owns Wikipedia neither this article, neither you nor I. I will always put back materials that are supported by a reliable source (as stated here: Wikipedia:No original research#Reliable sources).
I now really believe that here you and others are the ones who would like to have a (covertly) tendentious page which only reports what you think is "right" or "good" according to your own personal (and not neutral) POV. (For example: why delete an entire section dedicated to the political activism of Conquest and to his role as adviser of Thatcher? This particular fact is reported in her official biography! Is this so bad to be known publicly on wikipedia?)
The only purpose of this so-called "discussion" since the beginning has been only to find a way to clear well sourced material that did not meet the taste of some users like you and TheTimesAreAChanging, and you never showed the opposite, neither you ever discussed about how to write things in a better way. Since you cannot delete the sourced material saying they were unsourced, TheTimesAreAChanging tried the card of the Copyvio. Now that I solved possible Copyvios, you are just doing what you did from the start: trolling and insulting. Not working man, sorry.
Meantime, FYI, I have added the page to Wikipedia:WikiProject Cold War. Flushout1999 (talk) 20:19, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree: this is POV-pushing. Reverted to older/stable version. Flushout1999, you need WP:Consensus to make such changes, but I doubt that others will agree with your version. I would suggest making changes gradually, starting from the least controversial and best sourced ones, and waiting for others to agree or disagree with your edits. However, even your very first edit [3] was highly questionable for several reasons, including language. My very best wishes (talk) 00:16, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
According to what is written here Wikipedia:Don't revert due solely to "no consensus", you should not revert due solely to "no consensus". Also you should point out what is controversial by your own POV and why, so it can be re-written if this is the case. Instead you deleted most of the article not mentioning at all what in your opinion is controversial, while is well sourced with reliable sources, in some case more than one source.
Again, is controversial that Conquest was a political adviser for Henry Scoop Jackson, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan? Is it controversial that he celebrated the coronation of George VI in his own particular way? (as reported by the journal Hoover Digest of the Hoover Institution, where he worked for years)
The Guardian and other mainstream newspapers are not reliable sources? National Review (for which Conquest wrote) is not a reliable source? An article in The Spectator written by Conquest himself is not a reliable source? Academic and scholar books are not areliable source? Conquest wrote or not "The Human Cost of Soviet Communism" for the United States Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security?
I see a strong will to deny actual real facts, I really would like to know why. Instead everyone is avoiding to talk about the actual content.
Also, in conclusion, I corrected the language which could look as biased, now is left only what sources are saying, all re-written in order to comply with Copyright rules, while the rest are quotations. Why now you come up with a very old edit, that I did before to acknowledge all the guidelines? There is no tendentious editing but only what the sources are saying! Flushout1999 (talk) 06:35, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

This situation has gotten out of hand. I reported it at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#Robert_Conquest.   — Jeff G. ツ (talk) 06:43, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

I have already replied in the noticeboard. Everybody can see my edits were supported by reliable sources and they simply state what is written there, following a NPOV and using a neutral tone. When is not neutral is because is a quotation, and it was better to leave it as it is, otherwise could look as my own POV. But in fact it is not, is theirs or his (Conquest), so I previously left quotations to avoid misunderstanding. But actually for some user there is really a problem ongoing with what Conquest actually did and wrote in his life.
Here, however, is what is written in Wikipedia:Neutral point of view#Achieving neutrality

As a general rule, do not remove sourced information from the encyclopedia solely on the grounds that it seems biased. Instead, try to rewrite the passage or section to achieve a more neutral tone. Biased information can usually be balanced with material cited to other sources to produce a more neutral perspective, so such problems should be fixed when possible through the normal editing process.

What you do instead? Instead to add new edits and improve the article, you delete very well sourced informations. Now, did you realized you left most of my edits in place? That is proof of my good faith job, and you just passed from a more complete version to an incomplete one based on omissions. -- Flushout1999 (talk) 07:16, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
I see also the subsection dedicated to the book "The abomination of moab" has been cancelled. Why? It was really a so bad thing that everybody could read the hatred and criticism Conquest felt for Ezra Pound's fascism and poetry? -- Flushout1999 (talk) 07:45, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Oh wow, don't tell me! To have bad fellings toward a fascist and his poetry is a bad bad thing, unbalanced and not neutral and should not be mentioned in Conquest's biography even if he actually did! Right? Is that you are saying?
However here are the sources I used previously: The Times Literary Supplement (from The Times) [4], a quotation from the book itself [5]. I did not know The Times was not a reliable source while The New York Times was a reliable one.
Who wants to read a more complete biography of Conquest while the page is blocked can read it here: [6] -- Flushout1999 (talk) 06:33, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
A fun thing I found on the User:MastCell page:
"In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.
The pure and simple synthesis of what happened here with you people: you simply you don't accept facts on Robert Conquest's life, you want them to be forgotten as they don't meet your personal beliefs. Instead to add knowledge to yourself in order to improve yourself, you want to omitt in order to confirm yourself.
LOL, here another: "On Wikipedia, any form of real-life expertise is a serious handicap." So only unexperts on any subject can write whatever they want on anything and then delete actual facts with the most ludicrous excuses. Good to know! -- Flushout1999 (talk) 07:25, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
  • No, I am only telling that his biography in "New York Times", for example, does not describe him as a hatemonger. So should you. My very best wishes (talk) 15:08, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
  • And, indeed, I did not use the words "hate" and "hatred" in the article! You did not notice? What was written in the article you can check it in the sources. Also, is it bad to have bad feelings about fascism? I did not know it was a bad thing and that we (and also Conquest) need to have positive feelings about it. Now, I want to know why it is a problem for outside people to know about the contents of the book "The abomination of moab". Why it has been deleted? It was really a so bad thing that everybody could read the criticism Conquest felt for Ezra Pound's fascism and poetry? Now please respond, stop beating around the bush and trying to avoid to answer! Readers should know about Conquest's feelings towards Pound and his fascism, as he wrote about it in "The abomination of moab". -- Flushout1999 (talk) 19:45, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Just to know, who removed the tag from the top of the page? On which grounds? In Wikipedia:NPOV dispute#Adding a tag to a page is stated:
Please note: This label is meant to indicate that a discussion is still going on, and that the article's content is disputed, and volatile. If you add this template to an article in which there is no relevant discussion underway, you need at least to leave a note on the article's talk page describing what you consider unacceptable about the article. The note should address the troubling passages, elements, or phrases specifically enough to encourage constructive discussion that leads to resolution. If you believe that material or a particular viewpoint is missing, then you should try to give examples of published, independent, reliable sources that contain this missing material or point of view. In the absence of an ongoing discussion on the article's talk page, any editor may remove this tag at any time.
It looks to me discussion was never over, as it is still ongoing. Why the tag was removed? -- Flushout1999 (talk) 20:20, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
I think that mentioning this book by Conquest is fine, however that should be done very briefly because he is mostly known as a historian, not for his literary criticism. My very best wishes (talk) 20:44, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
That's good, finally we can work out on what can be present in the article. We finally work on contents! Here [7] is what I edited about "The abomination of Moab". Finally, could you tell me what you think is not ok and should be written differently?
We could have done this discussion immediately earlier, but you all prefered to delete without any peaceful discussion, along costant personal attacks towards me.
Now, I want to point out some fundamental points in my vision:
  • a) Abomination of Moab is not only a literary criticism work, in fact the most salient parts are written along a political and historical view of facts and people, in fact Conquest link the "lousy poetry" of Ezra Pound with Pound's political beliefs, then he also point out that Pound could not be considered a victim during his imprisonment as he, in his opinion, deserved it as a consequence of his anti-semitism and pro-nazism. These are very important statements and should be reported, and I tell you mainly why: the risk is that if we don't mention this fact and others, Conquest could look only as an anti-communist while in reality he was also a staunch anti-nazist.
  • b) Abomination of Moab is another umpteenth example of how Conquest's poetry, literature, political advising and historical works were, from the '60s on, constantly and totally interwined each other. (For example did you notice how "Harvest of Sorrow" and "What to Do When the Russians Come" were published in the same year - 1986? Then, you can see, a declaration like this one: A clear moral from here [8], it is nothing weird but just another demonstration of how he always aimed to "put things right" along his own personal beliefs, going in a all-fronts offensive in different fields). In fact it is not a mere coincidence that he wrote limericks on marxism and USSR, as it is not a case he wrote about Pound's politics in the same pages he is writing about Pound's poetry.
Whatever he was doing, he always worked along these 3 fundamental lines:
  • 1)He always maintained the objective to damage the USSR and to have it dismantled. He achieved this fundamental result, and I personally think he did actually a great contribution to it.
  • 2)He always attacked marxism as a political thinking and as a economic system alternative to capitalism.
  • 3)He always attacked any form of totalitarianism (in the definition given by Hannah Arendt) and he always promoted, in opposition to it, the liberal democracy he perceived embodied in the so-called "anglosphere" and not in the continental Europe.
  • Now, if you read anything of the Conquest's book, you would have very clear these 3 points whatever are your personal beliefs about it. These are so clear in books such "Reflections of a ravaged century" that I really don't see why they should be omitted. Do you really think that a "encyclopedic" article should be just a copy of a obituary article and not something more complete?
I really believe that all of this should be present in the Robert Conquest' article, I really don't see why you and others think the mere presence of such topics is "biased" or "unbalanced" then the only solution is deletion. I asked more than one time to point out how to re-write things in a better way while maintaing the main sense and meaning of the edits. Are we going to do this yes or not? -- Flushout1999 (talk) 08:10, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes, I read some books by Conquest, including his "Harvest of Sorrow" and "Reflections on a ravaged century", but his books usually appear to me as a solid historical research (including "Reflections on a ravaged century" which is partly polemics), rather than an anti-Soviet propaganda ("He always maintained the objective to damage the USSR", "He always attacked marxism", "He always attacked any form of totalitarianism" - according to you). Please realize that a typical researcher does not attack anything, but study. And if something, such as the totalitarian system, was ugly, it appears ugly in the scientific research. Painting Conquest as primarily a propagandist (that is apparently your point) is not really consistent with RS about him and his own writings. My very best wishes (talk) 15:05, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
General Comment: Flushout1999, deleting a single adjective from a copvio sentence does not solve the problem. If your copyvios continue to proliferate and you continue to deny the problem, the only acceptable solution will be a permanent ban.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 16:16, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Well, I'm sorry to tell you, but it appears you did not understand the meaning of what you read. I have here my copy of Reflections on a ravaged century (but translated, it is not an english edition). Now take your copy, go in the index name and search for example "Marx" or "Hobsbawm". Now what you find: a persistent attack on Marxism. Is this a issue? Is this a problem? By my point of view, not at all, they are just Conquest's thoughts and deserve to be reported in the article. But again, read these web sources: [9][10][11](excerpts can be find here if you don't have WSJ access: [12] and [13]), and tell me if you don't find these sentences "Conquest maintained throughout his career that the central problem with the USSR was Marxism itself as a mode of political economy, which he regarded as fraudulent and discredited. He affirmed: "The mere existence of the U.S.S.R., and its ideas, distorted the way in which many people over the whole world thought about society, the economy, human history". He also called Marxism a "misleading mental addiction". (Yes, of course we can write them differently in order to comply with copyvio, but the substance is that. How you call this? "He really appreciated Marxism and Soviet Union"?). The same thoughts and reflections can be find in the book.
Here you can find the first chapter online [14], he starts saying "The huge catastrophes of our era have been inflicted by human beings driven by certain thoughts". He then attacks Marxism, the French Revolution, the "Revolution Idea", the "mental coarseness" of revolutionaries. And writes: "The English Revolution of 1688 and the American Revolution in 1776, both of them undertaken in protection of the legal and civic order, had no connotation of total and utopian change". Indeed in the same book he also expressed these thoughts: "A liberal polity in the Anglo-American way is the very opposite; its mission is to "restrain, to deflate, to pacify and to reconcile; not to stoke the fires of desire, but to damp them down." (Here:[15])
And read also this from Michael Ignatieff [16]:
"Conquest argues that both America and Britain belong together at the head of an alliance of English-speaking democracies. Only in "English-speaking countries" [the so-called Anglosphere], he argues, has a genuinely democratic culture taken root. Elsewhere, in Europe, democracy was a frail plant [...] Liberty, he believes, is an "Anglo-Celtic" invention. The Founding Fathers were faithful children of England’s Glorious Revolution: checks and balances, separation of powers, common law, and representative democracy remain the shared heritage of the Anglo-American peoples. [...] Britain and the United States, he argues, have more in common with each other than either have with continental Europe. The alliances embodied in the European Union and NATO made sense when the enemy was Russia but they no longer represent genuine affinities of political culture. NATO is liable, he writes, to the perils of European apathy or parochialism. Conquest doesn’t want to do away with NATO altogether, but he thinks the best way to prevent American isolationism and detachment from Europe is to anchor the US in a global alliance of democratic states in which Britain would play Greece to America’s Rome. [...] In Britain—and in America—society created and controlled the state. In continental Europe, the state created and controlled both society and nation."
Chapters 5,6,7,8,9 of Reflections on a ravaged century are dedicated to Soviet Union and Cold War, in those pages he often laments that, in his opinion, USSR has not been opposed adequately in actions and thoughts. He also lamented that somebody labeled as "triumphalism" the simple statement that the USSR lost the Cold War. He wrote: "The West saved itself ... while the totalitarian enemy has ... collapsed". (End of Chapter 9)
So you see, the 3 fundamental lines I outlined above are consistent with the reliable sources available and with the book itself. He attacked USSR, Marxism and "Totalitarianism" promoting "Anglosphere", which embodied liberal democracy, in opposition not only to totalitarianism but also to "Continental Europe Democracy".
Another interesting thing, go to Chapter 7 , you'll find what I wrote previously in the section "Politics" [17]: Alexander Chakovsky calling him "anti-Sovietchik number one", Henry M. Jackson's advising, Margaret Thatcher advising, writing of the first "Iron Lady Speech". All in just 2 pages.
Then, Chapter 9, you find Conquest stating that what he had written in Present Danger in 1979, then it became, in real facts, the politics put in place by Reagan. Also that, I wrote it the section "Politics". Same chapter, you find he was an adviser of the American Delegations going to Moscow during the Nixon presidency. (Indeed, you can even find Robert Conquest name in the Foreign Relations of the United States Collection!)
If Conquest wrote all of that in his book why did you delete it? Copyvio, ok, perhaps. But then why attacking me saying that I have a "sin", and not telling me simply and politely to re-write those parts? Maybe you just wanted them to not appear in the article? Do you just want them to be omitted? Is it a "sin" to quote Conquest thoughts and to report the real facts of his life? And then, more important, I really would like to see what happens if I re-write totally the "Politics" parts changing completely every word, I have a feeling you still will not like the actual facts and you will try to find other excuses to delete everything. Or not? -- Flushout1999 (talk) 20:15, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Others and me asked you to stop making copyright violations several days ago [18], but you continued making copyright violations and edit war to keep them in pages [19], [20]. My very best wishes (talk) 17:24, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I acknowledged the copyright policies on wikipedia and I accepted the block of editing of 48 hrs without protesting it. Now wouldn't be better to discuss on contents and how to write them in the best way? I am open to discussion and I will not do other edits if there is no consensus. In the next week, as I have more time, I will open new sections below with the topics I believe deserve to appear in the article and I will wait for discussion with whoever is interested. -- Flushout1999 (talk) 16:47, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Flushout1999: I suggest that you add whatever you want to add a bit at a time, so that people can give comments and modify it appropriately. If there is a big 45k byte addition, then it is hard to give comments. It would be best if you opened different sections for your different additions, so that all the issues are not muddled in a big WP:TLDR discussion. Kingsindian  02:38, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

Page Protection[edit]

I've fully protected the page for a week, as there has been far too much edit warring on this article. Editing against consensus, copyvio concerns, POV pushing concerns on an article about a persons life - this all needs to be ironed out before changes are made. Feel free to contact me to lift the protection if a consensus occurs before then. Thanks. Sergecross73 msg me 23:21, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

I've been asked to re-add the POV tag to the article. Does anyone oppose? It seems like one thing everyone would agree on, but I wanted to make it clear that I'm not taking sides or participating, just trying to help facilitate/mediate. Sergecross73 msg me 21:59, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, this user just started an ANI thread and requested protection of another page. So, I think it would be wiser not to edit through protection and wait for comments/consensus about this on the ANI. My very best wishes (talk) 22:27, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Sounds good. Sergecross73 msg me 22:49, 23 October 2015 (UTC)