Nicholas Hall

Nick HallNicholas Hall works on inter-war British-Soviet contact, particularly that which took place in the Soviet Union, away from official mediation provided by guides, translators and other officials.

He is a doctoral student at the University of Exeter, working on ‘unofficial contact’ between Britons and Soviet citizens, between 1917 and 1939. He is particularly interested in how the traveller’s experience and understanding of Soviet reality relates to Soviet subjectivity, and how ‘truth’ was considered by both traveller and citizen alike.

His first book, The Shadow of Catastrophe: The Letters and Diaries of Gareth Jones, 1930–35 is an edited collection of the best of the private writing of the British journalist, Gareth Jones (1905–35). Jones is chiefly remembered for his role in exposing the famine in Ukraine, 1933. He travelled on foot through famine-ravaged regions north of Kharkiv, talking to the peasants he met in fluent Russian. His diaries of that trip, and those of a journey down the Volga in 1931, form a key part of the book. Jones also visited Germany, the USA and China in a tragically short – but remarkably adventurous – life. His notes and letters from and on those countries form other chapters of the book.

Nick is Research Associate of the Isaiah Berlin Literary Trust, Wolfson College, University of Oxford. He researches the life, letters and works of Isaiah Berlin with Henry Hardy and Mark Pottle, and manages the archive of the Trust, currently with a view to establishing digital legacy platforms at Wolfson. Nick is also AHRC DTP Project Officer, managing various aspects of Oxford’s AHRC DPhil programs for Oxford’s Humanities Division.

He is an editor of the Anglo-Russian Research Network website.



‘Gareth Jones, the Peasantry and the “Real Russia”, 1930-1933’, Russian Journal of Communication (Taylor & Francis, 2016)

Isaiah Berlin, Affirming: Letters 1975–97 (Chatto, 2015) [as Research Associate]

Isaiah Berlin, Building: Letters 1960–75 (Chatto, 2013) [as Research Associate]




26 May 2014: Gareth Jones: A man of ‘goodwill’?


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