Supporting announcement for Conor O'Clery's upcoming talk
Published: Mon 13th February
The Centre for the Study of Wider Europe will host a seminar by Conor O' Clery, formerly Moscow Correspondent of The Irish Times, on Wednesday 22 Feb 2012 at 3pm, Iontas First Floor Seminar Room. Conor will talk about his recent best-selling book 'Moscow, December 25, 1991: The Last Day of the Soviet Union' (Transworld: 2011).
Conor O'Clery is an Irish journalist and writer. He was born in Belfast and educated at Queen's University Belfast. He worked for The Irish Times for over 30 years in various positions, including news editor and foreign correspondent based in London, Moscow, Washington, D.C., Beijing and New York City.
He wrote for The New Republic from Moscow, contributed columns to Newsweek International, and has been a frequent commentator on broadcast channels BBC, NPR and CNN. He was won several awards, including Journalist of the Year, twice, in Ireland: first, in 1987, for his reporting of the Soviet Union, and, secondly, in 2002, for reporting the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, which he witnessed from his office three blocks away. He is currently Ireland correspondent for GlobalPost.
Conor's books include May You Live in Interesting Times, 2008, The Billionaire Who Wasn't: How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away a Fortune, 2007, Panic at the Bank: How John Rusnak Lost AIB $700 Million (co-authored with Siobhan Creaton), 2002, Ireland in Quotes: A History of the Twentieth Century, 1999, The Greening of the White House, 1997, Daring Diplomacy: Clinton's Secret Search for Peace in Ireland, 1997, America, A Place Called Hope?, 1993, Melting Snow: An Irishman in Moscow, 1991, Phrases Make History Here: Century of Irish Political Quotations, 1886-1986.
Conor will devote the seminar to talking about his most recent book 'Moscow, December 25, 1991: The Last Day of the Soviet Union'.
On the twentieth anniversary of the end of the Cold War, Conor O'Clery has built his compelling and brilliantly constructed narrative of the fall of the Soviet Union around one day, December 25, 1991, the date Gorbachev resigned and the USSR was effectively consigned to history. From there, O'Clery looks back over the events of the previous six years: Gorbachev's reform policies of glasnost and perestroika; Yeltsin's ignominious fall and then rise to the top; the defiance of the once docile Soviet republics; the failed August coup by the hardliners; and the events that swiftly followed until a secret meeting in a central European forest sealed the fate of the communist monolith and the clock ticked down to the last day.The result is an intricately detailed, thoroughly researched book, based on interviews with many of the key figures in a drama of Shakespearean intensity as well as contemporary reportage, the memoirs and diaries of key political figures and official documents. The book is written at a breathtaking, dramatic pace, drawing the reader in as it focuses equally on the personal and historical stories.