An award-winning historian and translator, Douglas Smith is the author of four books on Russia. His works have been translated into a dozen languages. He studied German and Russian at the University of Vermont and has a doctorate in history from UCLA.
Over the past thirty years Smith has made many trips to Russia. In the 1980s, he was a Russian-speaking guide on the U. S. State Department’s exhibition “Information USA” that traveled throughout the USSR. He has worked as a Soviet affairs analyst at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany specializing in Russian nationalism and served as an interpreter for late President Reagan.
Smith has taught and lectured widely in the United States, Britain, and Europe and has appeared in documentaries for A&E, National Geographic, and the BBC. He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including a Fulbright scholarship and a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study Center.
His latest book, Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy, was published in 2012 with Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the U.S. and Macmillan in the U.K. Former People won the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize in 2013 and was chosen Book of the Year by Andrew Solomon in Salon. Read an interview with Douglas Smith about Former People and listen to his interview on KUOW Radio.
Douglas Smith's biography of Grigory Rasputin will be published in November 2016 in the US and UK.