Orlando Figes is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. He was born in London in 1959 and studied history at Cambridge. Before moving to Birkbeck he was a University Lecturer in History and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He is the author of Peasant Russia, Civil War and A People's Tragedy, which in 1997 won the Wolfson History Prize, the WH Smith Literary Award, the Longman/History Today Book of the Year Award, the NCR Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His last book, Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia was published to great acclaim in 2002 and was shortlisted for the BBC FOUR Samuel Johnson Prize.