Tony Kevin Lecture
Return to Moscow
Tony Kevin, a former Australian career diplomat (1968-1998), discussed his latest book Return to Moscow (UWA Publishing 2017).
Forty-eight years ago, a young and apprehensive Tony Kevin set off on his first diplomatic posting to Moscow at the height of the Cold War. In the Russian winter of 2016 he returns alone, a private citizen aged 73.
Tony Kevin had a successful and challenging diplomatic career, ending with ambassadorships to Poland (1991-94) and Cambodia (1994-97). In Return to Moscow he applies his attention to Vladimir Putin’s Russia, a government and nation routinely demonised and disdained in Western capitals. Why does President Putin arouse such a high level of Western antagonism? Is the West throwing away the lessons of recent history in recklessly drifting into a perilous and unnecessary new Cold War confrontation against Russia?
Tony Kevin invites readers to see this great nation anew: to explore with him the complex roots of Russian national identity and values, drawing on its traumatic recent seventy-year Soviet Communist past and its momentous thousand-year history as a great Orthodox Christian nation that has both loved and feared ‘the West,’ and which the West has loved and feared back in equal measure.
Tony Kevin is a former Australian career diplomat (1968-1998) who held diplomatic postings and ambassadorships in Moscow, UN New York, Poland and Cambodia. Since retiring from foreign service, he has been an active advocate for change in areas such as Australian asylum-seeker policy, border protection, and climate change.
He has written several books inspired by his career and life experiences, including A Certain Maritime Incident (Scribe 2004) which won the ACT Book of the Year Award and the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Multicultural Writing in 2005; Walking the Camino (Scribe 2007), winner of the ACT Book of the Year Award 2008; Crunch Time (Scribe 2009), and Reluctant Rescuers (self-published 2012). In 2012 Tony Kevin was awarded an Emeritus Fellowship at Australian National University, Canberra, for his four books.